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Before I Forget

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  187 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Chris Minaar is a distinguished South African writer, an old writer, but a writer who has lost whatever gift he had for writing. It is on New Year's Eve, courtesy of his stalled car, that he meets Rachel, a young sculptress who becomes the great love of his life, a love greater for being unfulfilled.

He finds himself captivated by Rachel and drawn into a close friendship wi
Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 05, 2009 Mollie rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of the finest erotic books I have ever read. It offers unique and beautiful descriptions of sex and body parts, with stories about current events interwoven with the memories of an old man. Exquisite writing.One of the things I loved about the book is his treatment of older women as lovers. You don't see that often in any novel.
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Brink is a good writer, but this book is a bit of a bore. An old, leading South African writer, after the sudden death of a young female friend, tries to come to terms with his life through the many fucks he has had over the course of his life.
The book is full of fucking and it appears Brink wrote the book primarily to shock his prudish South African audience. The twist at the end is reasonably surprising, but by the time I got there, I just didn't care enough. I bought the book after I asked a
Noura Abdullah
May 15, 2011 Noura Abdullah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Simply one of the most mesmerizing books I've read; a troubled and jaded writer decides to tell the tale of the great love of his life, a love greater for being unfulfilled. Through exploring the triangle of this love for this woman, and the deep friendship he develops with her husband, he begins unraveling the many relationships his life is composed of. Deep, heart-wrenching and bursting with beautiful reflection, this book will remain one of the best I've come across.
Apr 30, 2013 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure Brink is an amazingly skilled wordsmith but this book left me cold. It seemed to be a vehicle for his writing ability - a subject who is an author (!) rather tediously remembering, in his ripe old age, all of his various conquests. Good, you can write and describe endless different female forms. A plot would have been welcome.
Jul 09, 2013 Adri rated it liked it
Brink's prose is beautiful, but I found this book a complete drag. It had the feel of an autobiography about it and also felt like one man's brag fest about all his sexual exploits. I can't say that I enjoyed this and feel let down.
Kel Sta
Mar 19, 2011 Kel Sta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who want to know what men remember.
Although perhaps a little self-indulgent, this is quite a beautiful book with fascinating, well-developed characters, and an interesting attempt to mention the political and the personal in parallel.
Dec 01, 2014 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I must say this before I forget. Brink is good. Definitely.

I have liked very much Brinks's novels about apartheid in South Africa. In later novels it is not that much in leading role but it is always there like dark backround vocals. In this novel a bit more once again as this was "memoirs" covering a long period in South Africa's violent history - not directly Brink's own memoirs but obviously very close.

A long series of women and romances. Very different women from different periods of life. A
Ilyhana Kennedy
Apr 13, 2013 Ilyhana Kennedy rated it liked it
I found this slow to start, not easy to get into and quite a long wade through to the conclusion.
Set against the struggles of South Africa's liberation, it seems to contrast a life lived indifferently with the same life lived with purpose. Yes it's odd.
The trivia of the memories of countless sexual escapades contrasts with the brutality of the oppression in South Africa and then a step further with the invasion of Iraq.
I couldn't help but wonder about the attitudes of the main character, the gen
Dora Okeyo
Jan 19, 2016 Dora Okeyo rated it really liked it
"Have you changed the substance of my life or just the contours?"

Chris is a South African Writer who finds love at a time in his life where he can only begin to go back in time to all the women he loved and the choices he made.
I do not know much about weaving, but Andre Brink did spin such a tale that I could not put this book because I was curious to know whether Chris' love was fulfilled.

Jan Razny
Sep 11, 2015 Jan Razny rated it it was amazing
Very elegant and beautifull. It was one of the best books I've read in last 2-3 years. Action is secondary, emotions and reflection on delicate nature of relationship between men and women and passage of time are primary subject.
Rebecca Woodall
Oct 15, 2013 Rebecca Woodall rated it it was ok
Quite an appropriate title as most of the book read like the ram lungs of an old man. Even more, a man who has never been able to commit to one woman. Luckily for him, it seems most of the women in his life don't mind. Too and he couldn't grow up & find a woman his own age instead of continually describing his past sexual encounters. With a political backdrop as tumultuous as South Africa you would expect a more intellectual storyline but you will be disappointed.
Maria Kukkonen
Oct 05, 2012 Maria Kukkonen rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
Somehow this became important book for me, though I occasionally I was irritated by the writer's style or the main character's need to tell everything like he would like to feel himself important (or maybe it was meant so). What makes it even more interesting is that there is a history behind his stories. However, before I even knew about it, I already hungered more to read.
Jul 08, 2007 Lois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brink fans
Shelves: lobagsbooks
I am the biggest Brink Fan on the planet. He is my favourite author so I am biased with all of his work. Don't expect a balanced review from me. This is the slightly erotic story of an older man with his younger lover. As with all Brinks work the backdrop is apartheid South Africa and the stuggles of white and black alike.
Mar 17, 2011 Yuliya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nice mix of sexual encounters and history of South Africa. well written. Makes you interested to read to the end with all those stories jumping back and forth from the past to the future. I liked a lot the parallels between relationships with different women and connection of all of them in a woman of all life.
Apr 15, 2012 Arja rated it really liked it
Kirja johon tartuin täysin sattumalta mutta joka vei minut mennessään. Rakkautta, suhteita, rakkautta ja suhteita. Iäkkään miehen kertomus elämänsä naisista.

Tätä lukiessa täytyi ottaa lasi konjakkia ja nauttia. Aivan jotain muuta mitä yleensä luen.
Nana Fredua-Agyeman
An old man recollects his life with the women he came across... before he dies...

Follow the link to read my review on my blog.

Ronel Bredenkamp
Feb 18, 2010 Ronel Bredenkamp rated it liked it
'n moet lees vir alle sal ons dan verstaan wat in die manne se koppe aangaan...ek het baie gehou van die boek...die misterie van vrouwees en alles daarmee saam word baie goed vasgevang....
Dec 03, 2007 LISA rated it did not like it
OK I'm not having a good run on books completed ....
I got about 1/3 of the way through and could not continue ... again, I didn't care of the characters and was disappointed!
Like a yellowed out love letter this bittersweet novel tugs at the heart of a reader. One of my favourite books from this home-grown author.
Apr 15, 2009 Tiah rated it it was amazing
An exquisite portrait of one man's passed loves intertwined with the complicated tapestry of South Africa's political history.
Feb 25, 2010 Marina added it
I read the Afrikaans version, and absolutely loved it. It was so reminiscent of a life full of vitality and sexual encounters.
Recato Cristiano
Aug 16, 2013 Recato Cristiano rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
At 35 year's of age I am still a virgin, and plan to be so until I die.
Oct 23, 2007 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Could barely get through this. is this guy brilliant? i am missing something.
Amanda Patterson
Aug 01, 2011 Amanda Patterson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read the book. Forgot about it immediately.
Jan 26, 2008 Nimisha rated it really liked it
so far, so good
Sonja Randall
Oct 09, 2012 Sonja Randall rated it it was amazing
'n Meesterwerk!
Ana Kostic
Oct 09, 2012 Ana Kostic rated it really liked it
exciting read
Hélène Rossouw
Hélène Rossouw marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Carpe librum Girl
Carpe librum Girl marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2016
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André Philippus Brink was a South African novelist. He wrote in Afrikaans and English and was until his retirement a Professor of English Literature at the University of Cape Town.

In the 1960s, he and Breyten Breytenbach were key figures in the Afrikaans literary movement known as Die Sestigers ("The Sixty-ers"). These writers sought to use Afrikaans as a language to speak against the apartheid go
More about André Brink...

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“In love, no question is ever preposterous.” 1421 likes
“To respect the dignity of a relationship also implies accepting the end when it comes. Except in my mind, except in my dreams, where the aftertaste of her still lingers.” 97 likes
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