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Turning Wheels

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Turning Wheels, The, by Cloete, Stuart
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published 1937 by Collins
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Depressing as hell! But very interesting characters, and while I could have done without the detailed descriptions of blood/wounds/disease/infestations/etc, the scenery and characters absolutely jumped off the page into the room. A very tragic story, and I thought it was excellently written. I've never read a book about that period of history, and certainly not from the perspective of pioneers. Character development, plot development, symbolism, descriptions, everything was excellent-it was just ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
It took me a bit to get used to Mr. Cleote's writing style, but once I did the story came alive. And a great story it is, of the Great Trek of the south African Boers (which included some of Cleote's ancestors). There are a mix of characters. Some, like Sannie and Louisa, I had little sympathy. Others truly seemed real, especially Anna de Jong and Rinkals the witch doctor. The landscape also becomes as important to the story as the characters, and Cleote describes it well. Well worth reading to ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
c1937: Banned in South Africa at the time of its original publication. It was one of the first novels that I read about the Great Trek and I never really tired of them. Always a great background for a novel. "Why should they like you? … Are you not worse than Zulus who come like a storm, destroy, and then go perhaps never to come again? Whereas you come and take their best grazing, kill the game on which they live, and expect them to love you… it is in my mind that they think they are a people w ...more
Wade Burgess
Jun 10, 2016 Wade Burgess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dialogue between certain characters and/or the portions when certain characters (Tante Anna and Rinkals) spoke were 100% enjoyment! I thoroughly enjoyed those parts of this novel. I loved how authentic and real the descriptions were. However, certain characters were unbelievable. I disliked Sannie greatly. I was not rooting for nor did I respect Zwart Piete. So, overall, the book was not 4 stars, but the portions I loved were 5 stars. I would probably read it again simply enjoy again the par ...more
Conrad K.
Feb 25, 2011 Conrad K. rated it liked it
A novel about the Great Trek of 1836. The Boers move north into the hostility of the Kaffir Wars to found the Free State and Transvaal. Not a modern novel by any accounts but a great read and a depth of knowledge about the panoramas of the land and people living during the time. The author builds great characters that give a solid reflection of the time.
Nov 30, 2011 Gerhard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read considering the book was first published in the 1930's. Anhyone interested in historical fiction this is a facinating insight into the minds of the "Voortrekkers" and their struggles.
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Stuart Cloete was born in France in 1897 to a Scottish mother and South African father. (His ancestors had come from Holland with Jan Van Riebeck to establish a settlement for the Dutch East India Company).
He remembered his early years in Victorian Paris with sweet nostalgia, but the ideal was shattered when he began his schooling in France and England. He never excelled academically and - in his
More about Stuart Cloete...

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