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Thirteen Cents

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  19 reviews

Every city has an unspoken side. Cape Town, between the postcard mountain and sea, has its own shadow-side lurking in its lap: a place of dislocation and uncertainty, dependence and desperation, destruction and survival, gangsters, pimps, pedophiles, hunger, hope and moments of happiness. This book therefore is an extraordinary and unsparing account of the coming of age on

Paperback, 164 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by New Africa Books (first published November 30th 2000)
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Lee Abrahams
The book delves into the real world of the "Cape Town" city. There is a look at how a street child has to survive, also how gangsters are initiated and formed. In addition, a family-hood in the gangster world and their philosophy or their take on Cape Town. Their philosophy is strange, but has merit, when considering their circumstance. They live in an imbalanced society and want to have things aswell, one character Sealy, refers to banks, church's, town or high society as the greater evil as th ...more
i enjoy reading the book even though sometimes i could not grasp to what the author was trying to communicate. i would not recommend this book to any sensitive reader becuase of its horrific nutare.some of the things Azu THE PROTAGONIST had to go through i felf were bit far-featched. on the other side i love what Sello Duiker was trying to do with this novel. His intentions were to show or expose the unspoken side of any city.with our ignorance we forget or we choose not to think about this othe ...more
It's a tough book about a street kid in Capetown. The novel is very well done and combine elements of magical realism with what the reviewer (Villjoen) calls hyperrealism. I like the hyperrealist parts, but the whole thing also leaves a depressing taste of post-Apartheid Capetown.
Not ashamed to admit that the last few chapters of this book confused me to no end. I did not know how to interpret what I assumed were symbolic meanings because I think I lacked a certain cultural/background knowledge. With that in mind, this is not a book that I enjoyed at.
If you think Cape Town is just its postcard beauty, read this. But it's not for the faint of heart.
Natalie Rae Denton
This book brilliantly depicts the other, ugly side of Cape Town. The many swear words and dirty acts shows just how bad the streets can be.
Mar 17, 2014 0729530450 marked it as to-read
nothing yet because i have not yet read the book
Both lyrical and violent. I would have given it 4 stars but the rape scenes disturbed me.
Audrey Van zee
Despite the graphic sexual scenes and magical realism at the end, Azure's story was interesting to read while staying in the same area of Cape Town that his fictional life is set in. Thirteen cents gives a vivid view of what it is like to be a homeless child in one of the most unequal cities in the world.
Brief, dark story about a 12 year old orphan living on the streets of Cape Town. I didn't 'like' reading it; it was unremittingly bleak and painfully graphic in its descriptions of the beatings and sexual exploitation that Azure experiences. I also had a hard time following the Afrikaans interspersed throughout the dialogue, or understanding some of the dream sequences. I do know I'll remember it, however.
Wouter Pocornie
Short, nonetheless very heavy to read. A young boy's 'minimal' (my understanding of 'thirteen cents as a metaphor) existence in South Africa.

K. Sello Duiker has written interesting books. Sadly, he's no longer alive.
Fatima Essack
It's no wonder the author killed himself.
Polly Mary
Apr 08, 2014 Polly Mary marked it as to-read
I think the book is about a small boy who does not have money
Soulja Abdul
Overrated and boring piece of work. The last half is all self indulgence by the author. Terrible.


Oh want to understand Cape Town Street kids read this book! Wow!
Allo Love
Brilliant read, South Africa stories as told by South African writers.
Muhammad Osama
or 5 stars, whatever was the rating . . . Duiker was a genius.
This book is great, the writer left this world too soon.
Unexpectedly great novel and haunting images.
Tom marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
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Dec 15, 2014
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conclusion of this book 4 12 May 06, 2013 12:57PM  
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  • Welcome to Our Hillbrow
  • Low Magick: It's All in Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is
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  • The Madonna of Excelsior
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  • Fallen Hopes, Taken Dreams
  • How Can Man Die Better: The Life Of Robert Sobukwe
  • House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War-Torn Zimbabwe
  • The Unlikely Secret Agent
  • Mine Boy
  • Initiation
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  • The Beautiful Side of Evil
  • AMA
  • Changes: A Love Story
Kabelo 'Sello' Duiker's debut novel, Thirteen Cents won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, Africa Region.

He suffered a nervous breakdown in 2004, prior to committing suicide by hanging himself in January 2005.
More about K. Sello Duiker...
The Quiet Violence of Dreams The Hidden Star Thirteen Cents: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series) Queer Africa Los deseos afines

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