Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Road to Mecca” as Want to Read:
The Road to Mecca
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Road to Mecca

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A South African pastor and a young teacher from Cape Town battle over the fate of an eccentric elderly widow.
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published October 10th 2001 by LA Theatre Works (first published 1985)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 505)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
John David
Helen, whose husband’s death has caused her to stave off various bouts of depression and battles with, to use her word, “darkness,” has recently re-discovered her gift for sculpture. Her back yard – which Helen calls her Mecca - is full of bright, colorful, life-sized figures of biblical wise men, birds, and anything else her imagination encourages her to make. One of Helen’s only remaining friends, Elsa, pays her a surprise visit from Cape Town. During their discussion, Helen mentions that the ...more
Fugard, Athol. THE ROAD TO MECCA. (1985). ****. This play by Fugard is set in South Africa in the region known as the Karoo. It tells the story of an elderly woman who has spent years since her husband’s death transforming her home in this isolated town into an intricate and dazzling work of art. Unfortunately, the other members of her community don’t view it the same way. To them, it is a departure from the customary way of living. Statues in the front lawn depicting fanciful creatures and owls ...more
James F
Another powerful play by Athol Fugard; two acts, three characters. This is about two women, a seventy year old widow from a small town and her young schoolteacher friend from Port Elizabeth. The third character is the widow's minister. The play deals with many different issues, more about personal choices and personal freedom than politics this time (except in the sense that everything is political.) I can't summarize it without spoilers. Despite the title, it is not about Moslems or even religi ...more
Virginia Morgan
This play quickly brings together some large themes- racial inequality, religious beliefs, female relationships - in a South African historical setting. It's a quick read but did not inspire me.
Nerine Dorman
This has lost none of the impact it had when I was at school. Seems fitting that this is set work for my degree modules.
Zuki Bolani Buthelezi
Couldnt put the book down. The story is engrossing and so poetic. Athol Furgard is a literal genius forever and day!
Tess Lively

I don't know how much I would've liked seeing this play, maybe if it was done very well, but I absolutely enjoyed reading it. It's very heart warming and beautifully worded.
This is a beautiful play. It was reccommended to me by Kat.
a friend of hers in Madison is doing the play there.

Basically, the story of one woman's search for enlightenment (Mecca) through her art. It's based on a true story. Helen did exist. She lived in South Africa and the playwright who bought a home in the town she lived in became fascinated with her story.

It's also a movie which Kathy Bates did in 1992. If I can find it I'm going to buy it.
A touching statement on the roles which faith and creativity play in the endurance of the human spirit. This was the second Fugard play that I read, and was once again astounded by his command of character and realistic dialogue. Through his telling of Helen's story (the seemingly 'crazy' yet wildly imaginative old woman at the center of the story)we are shown a remarkably important moment in the lives of several people.
A play that is mostly just two women that isn't about rape or men or stereotypical 2 women play things! My heart is rejoicing. This play is beautiful and touching and infuriating and boy was I invested! It has some really meaty roles to dig into. Women: 28 yr old character with amazing monologue prospects in here. Seriously! I think I might add this to the plays I want to direct list...
Thing Two
Very short but moving play set in 1970s South Africa and centered around the struggles of one woman - Miss Helen - as she's pulled in two differing directions by the two closest people to her. It's man vs. woman, young vs. old, religious vs. secular with a world vision beyond her small town. I saw the play and cried - very moving.
A very interesting play. It starts off kind of slow, put picks up enough steam a couple of pages in that it becomes very good. I recomend it.
Apr 01, 2009 Alyssa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alyssa by: Professor Bloom
Shelves: school
I enjoyed this much more than i anticipated. I'm glad I chose to read it through once first before I have to dissect it for class. :)
enjoyed the journey to Nieu Bethesda with learners from Camps Bay in the wake of the teaching of this play.
Jul 08, 2007 Lois rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True literature lovers
Shelves: lobagsbooks
This is good. Read it. It is too long to explain so go to Amazon and read the summary and reviews.
Nov 21, 2008 Latha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Latha by: My husband
This is a play. It was a different type of thing for me to read.l
Juliana Hanford
There aren't enough stars in the world for this.
Zama Zungu
Favourite Play of all Time...Shake who?
Ah, the unfortunately named Athol.
Nhlanhla marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2015
Silence Ratau
Silence Ratau marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
Nomvuyo marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2015
Naomi Ibiama
Naomi Ibiama marked it as to-read
Feb 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Price
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • Five Plays: The Father / Miss Julie / The Dance of Death / A Dream Play / The Ghost Sonata
  • A Life in the Theatre
  • Talley's Folly
  • Four Plays: Come Back, Little Sheba / Picnic / Bus Stop / The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
  • 'Art'
  • The School for Scandal and Other Plays
  • Bash
  • The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
  • Caligula; suivi de Le Malentendu
  • Beyond Therapy
  • Where to Start and What to Ask: An Assessment Handbook
  • Every Man in His Humour: Quarto Version
  • Complete Works, Vol. 1: The Birthday Party / The Room / The Dumb Waiter / A Slight Ache / A Night Out / The Black and White / The Examination
  • Four Tragedies and Octavia
  • Of Africa
  • The Rainmaker
Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard (b. June 11, 1932, Middelburg, South Africa), better known as Athol Fugard, is a South African playwright, actor, and director. His wife, Sheila Fugard, and their daughter, Lisa Fugard, are also writers.

Athol Fugard was born of an Irish Roman Catholic father and an Afrikaner mother. He considers himself an Afrikaner, but writes in English to reach a larger audience. Hi
More about Athol Fugard...
"Master Harold"...and the boys Tsotsi My Children! My Africa! Sizwe Bansi is Dead & The Island Statements

Share This Book