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Resident Alien

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Resident Alien
Paperback, 380 pages
Published November 2010 by Jonathan Ball (first published 2009)
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An intriguing read, as (a) someone interested in but hardly immersed in the details of South African politics and society; (b) a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson, the American writer to whom he tends to be compared in bookfront blurbs.

His prose style is engaging - he does make heavy use of an informal style cribbed directly from HST & Tom Wolfe, but shows more comfort with more classic journalistic and essay styles, and is fairly adept at shifting when necessary (often given the amount of expo
Malan's 1990 memoir, My Traitor's Heart, was one of many books I read about apartheid South Africa when I was young and discovering the atrocities taking place there. And it was the book that haunted me the most. For some reason I didn't really follow up with Malan over the years, and just realized this book was released recently, aggregating journalism pieces from various publications over the years. Interesting collection, and I liked how he did postscripts on them as some of his articles crea ...more
Catherine Lemmer
Hard hitting, provocative, series of essays written in the 90s through 2009.I read the work on my way home (back to US) from a six-month stay in South Africa and thoroughly enjoyed the work. His work remains relevant as his assessments still reflect the current situation on a number of issues. Enjoyed his thought-provoking prose and investigative journalistic style.
This book is a series of Malan's essays/articles. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because of the piece, "In the Jungle" which was originally published in 2000 in Rolling Stone magazine. It is the amazing story of a song that we all recognize because it has become legend all over the world. It was called "Mbube" or "The Lion." It was composed by a Solomon Linda in Johannesburg in 1939. "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight." This is an amazing story. Find this boo ...more
Amanda Patterson
A worthwhile read from a talented storyteller. Malan writes with a mixture of cynicism and hope and humour. His reluctant love for South Africa shines through his observation about the state of our nation. I would have given this four stars but the book is poorly produced. The font is too small and the paper feels cheap. It's horrible to hold. The cover also does not do the book justice.
Gino Bossino

This book was given to me by a South African friend just before she left for the UK. It has been sitting on my book shelf for a few months and I decided to pick it up yesterday. If you are interested in South African Politics and the wide spread corruption that has emanated since the fall of apartheid then it is a book I suggest you read.
Though he has been compared with Hunter Thompson, I think he combines curmudgeonliness with compassion, obstreperousness with empathy and bias with honesty. And, regardless whether he is ranting, complaining, whining or bitching, his deep love for South Africa (and Africa) shines through. Besides, his prose is immaculate.
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Rian Malan is a South African author, journalist, documentarist and songwriter of Afrikaner descent. He first rose to prominence as the author of the memoir My Traitor's Heart, which, like the bulk of his work, deals with South African society in a historical and contemporary perspective and focuses on racial relations. As a journalist, he has written for major newspapers in South Africa, Great Br ...more
More about Rian Malan...
My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience The Lion Sleeps Tonight The Lion Sleeps Tonight: And Other Stories of Africa Great Railway Journeys Life In The Liberated Zone

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