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Six Fang Marks & a Tetanus Shot

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4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  44 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Mixing mirth with tragedy, this multi-layered novel investigates the eviscerating effect of trauma on a young boy's mind. Experimental in several ways, the book is set up as a bizarre and disturbing scrapbook belonging to Ace and Rem, two South African brothers. The reader of the scrapbook is a war correspondent who has traveled from Amsterdam to South Africa to talk to th ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Jacana Media (first published April 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 184)
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J
Aug 21, 2008 J rated it it was amazing
The tram hit him full force like a charging rhino. Watching him walk away, blood running down his face, Kim knew she was in love. Of course, he had winked at her first. At least she liked to think he had. She’d already decided he would be her next literary crush and any literary crush worth his weight in words would certainly wink at a pretty girl in a mini skirt. Wouldn’t he? Perhaps not. Perhaps he’s the strong silent type that draws women to him by ignoring them. Perhaps he pushed himself up ...more
Kirk
Dec 28, 2008 Kirk rated it really liked it
I owe Richard a big apology. I read Six Fang Marks back in September when we traded books and I've been as unprofessional as a comet-tailing hooker by not getting a review posted before now. I can only plead a busy life, which is a bullshit excuse because all I pretty much do is sit on my dimply ass all day reading books (okay, and grading papers, too). The reality is I needed time to digest this rollicking picaresque, which spans two continents, some graphic incontinence, at least two non-linea ...more
Valerie
Sep 15, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Valerie by: Kimmy
When I first started reading this book, it reminded me of what it felt like to be ten again, riding my bike over a home-made jump with five friends lying down on the pavement in front of it, hoping I'd make it over.

That's the kind of exuberance and recklessness I found in Rem, one of the two brothers that this novel is about. I rooted for Rem, and loved his fearlessness, purity, and loyalty. To me, he was the epitome of boundless and unstoppable youth. His brother, Ysbrand (more familiarly know
...more
Michelle
Oct 13, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommended to Michelle by: Kim and Maurice
This book is what I would imagine it would have been like to grow up as a boy with a younger brother rather than as a girl with a younger brother. Well, if both brothers were unnaturally accident-prone and/or possibly a bit insane. Maybe insane is too strong of a word. Was their story a result of some sort of psychological deficiency or just bad luck? In the case of Ace and his younger brother, Rem, I think it was just bad luck. Rotten luck.

When I first started reading, I thought the narrator (A
...more
Kim
Dec 29, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodread-authors
I'm confused, but in a good way (yes, I believe that confusion can sometimes be beneficial). I think.... I don't know, give me a moment...


Okay----I believe that-----wait, no, that's not right, hold on.


This book... it ... um... hmm... isn't like anything I've ever read before (and don't go looking at my shelves and tsking my tastes)and that's cool, you know? Maybe not.

I have lots of questions but I'm afraid to ask them, sort of equivalent to rubbernecking. Yeah, that's it. That's exactly it.

I
...more
Kathe
Mar 11, 2008 Kathe rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathe by: Richard
Wow - this is a first novel? I loved it - I'll probably give it 5 stars after I re-read the whole thing. I'm a chain reader, and I usually have at least two going at once. Occasionally one captures my imagination and attention to the extent that I can't just finish it and go right on to the next; I need a day or two to ruminate. This was one of those rare books that not only keep my attention after I've closed the covers, but becomes better upon reflection.

I have to admit that some of the dialec
...more
Maire Fisher
Feb 18, 2009 Maire Fisher rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young adults as well as older readers
Six fang marks and a Tetanus Shot

My son has read it, I’ve read it, and my other son is about to read it.

I wish he’d hurry up, because then we could all have a proper discussion about it. So many things I want to ask them about, to see whether or not they agree with my take on things. Right down to the fact that I’m still wondering whether Rem and dreams and nightmares and a sense of the surreal and Rapid Eye Movement are connected – and whether Ace is the wily one or the leader of the pack. (Th
...more
bup
Dec 20, 2009 bup rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009, novel, favorites
What a fantastic read. It's got a bit of the 'what the hell is going on here?' Infinite Jest-ness to it, but only has 200 pages to straighten it out. It's a jigsaw puzzle sort-of whodunnit, but not really, but kind of, and it's compelling.

And disturbing. Very profoundly disturbing. I will not sleep well for a while.
Jos Duijst
Oct 21, 2007 Jos Duijst rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all of my friends
The story grasped my from page one and left me confused in a pleasant way. Food for thought and a good reason to start reading it again.
It's a swift read at first sight, but the story still makes me wondering what really went down there.
That's my kind of book: one that doesn't give away everything straight-way!
Ron Irwin
Jun 26, 2008 Ron Irwin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Ron by: many freinds
Fabulous, zany book that straddles South Africa and Amsterdam. Whiffs of Dostoevsky and Salinger and Martin Amis. This is an utterly unique book written by one of the freshest, brashest, rawest voices to come out of South Africa.
Chloe
Jun 25, 2008 Chloe rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chloe by: Richard
Shelves: fiction
This is a very interesting read from a first-time author. More of a scrapbook compilation of a story than a standard novel, the author moves through many different voices as he relates the story of Ace and Rem De Heer, two brothers growing up in South Africa.

The brothers De Heer are plagued by accidents that variously incapacitate and harm them, related in short snapshots titled with the cause of the accident and the injuries sustained- from a jousting match with bamboo poles to impaling onesel
...more
Kaine Andrews
Jun 04, 2013 Kaine Andrews rated it really liked it
I'm going to start off by saying this book is probably not for everyone. It's certainly bizarre, being composed primarily of stream-of-consciousness scribblings allegedly cribbed from the primary characters' journals mixed with a smattering of psychology textbook quotes, primarily on the subject of accident-prone and suicidal people. Untangling the central thread of the narrative is not for the faint of heart. Once you do however, there are some incredibly gut-wrenching nuggets of truth buried w ...more
Brian Blankenship
Sep 28, 2007 Brian Blankenship rated it it was amazing
This is a strange book...but in a brilliantly pleasant way. The format is great, pulling you all over the place without leaving you feeling totally lost or confused….but teasing you enough to know that there is always something more going on. The reading pace is quick… which is of necessity because you will want to read it again to really grasp the depth of what’s going on. A puzzle that pulls you in and makes you wonder if this is indeed a work of fiction or an autobiographical confession. Grea ...more
Colleen
Jan 13, 2008 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Colleen by: http://book.co.za
Dear Richard
as promised I read your book while on holiday in Anysberg, a cape Nature Reserve, between Laingsburg and Ladismith. I also read Almost Moon by Alice Sebold as well as a number of children's books aloud to my 5 year old daughter.

I was rivetted by your book, and devastated. I think it also had to do with being tired and the empty beauty of the landscape. I am left with questions - who is Deo? He is a tricky character, perhaps I didn't read closely enough, but he puzzled me.

I like the w
...more
M
Jan 22, 2009 M rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to M by: Richard De Nooy
Shelves: africa, south-africa
I remember how I met this incredible book" Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot. "
"A force, a strange feeling emerges from this story "....... was my first impression at the beginning of my reading.
Two brothers, Ace and Rem De Heer. The history tells us their lives, their memories, talks about the events, tragic accidents that they live between "South Africa" and "Amsterdam"
I read a few chapters ... then I closed the book to reflect ...... The story captured my attention ... I needed a few days
...more
Melanie
Oct 05, 2008 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een spannende roman opgebouwd uit fragmenten zoals dagboekaantekeningen,citaten,tekeningen en brieven.Daardoor lijkt de grens tussen fictie en realiteit soms te vervagen en maakt de geschiedenis over de twee broers Remco en Ysbrand aangrijpender en zet je aan tot nadenken.
Soms bot en onopgesmukt,soms grappig en vol zwarte humor maar vooral een boek dat me heeft geraakt door de kleine droevige momenten.
Een debuterende auteur waarvan ik zeker meer wil lezen!
Amanda
Jul 23, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marieke
wow. phew. what a romp! i'm a little out of breath from reading that. also, it's hard to believe it's a first novel. thank you richard for letting yourself out of the closet! hurry up so we can all read another one. probably i should write more about the book...but it's too interesting stylistically and plot-wise...i don't want to risk spoiling anything for anyone...
Becky Everhart
This book is so vicious and tender and, in short, real. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Ace and Rem evolve as the story unfolded. The accident prone quotes gave the book an extra kick and added to the mystique of Rem and seemed hip rather than out of place. The artwork was disturbingly great.
Richard
Aug 04, 2008 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: everyone
Dear friends/readers,

It gives me great pride and joy to inform you that my novel has won the University of Johannesburg Prize for Best First Book!

Thanks again for your support and friendship!




Elsje
Jan 24, 2011 Elsje rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
Laat je niet misleiden door de chiclit-achtige titel en dito plaatje op de voorkant! Deze roman van de Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver Richard de Nooy is alles behalve chiclit.

De banaan slaat namelijk op de ongeluksmagneet Remco de Heer, waarover het boek gaat. Zijn broer, Ysbrand (Ace) beschrijft hoe zijn broer al van jongs af aan allerlei ongelukken en ongelukjes kreeg of zelfs veroorzaakte. Meestal zijn er wat butsen en builen te betreuren, maar een keer loopt het vreselijk uit de hand.
Naast de bel
...more
Richard
Oct 29, 2008 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dutch readers
Bijgaand een aantal recensies uit de Nederlandse pers en een foto van de prachtige etalage bij Athenaeum Boekhandel op het Spui in Amsterdam.

'Niemand ontsnapt aan zijn verantwoordelijkheid, zelfs de lezer niet. Want dankzij De Nooys vernuftige verteltechniek word je zo diep het verhaal in gesleurd dat je af en toe schrikt van iets waarom je eerst hebt gelachen. En dan besef je hoe gemakkelijk je medeplichtig kunt worden.' Trouw
(De volledige recensie. Let wel: Mogelijke spoilers.)

‘Vele grappige,
...more
Shelly
Dec 31, 2008 Shelly marked it as to-read
Recommended to Shelly by: Richard de Nooy - the author himself! :D
Shelves: tbr-i-own
It hath arrived all new and sparkly... okay well maybe not sparkly but certainly new. Thanks, Richard, I'll edit this when I get a chance to chew through the book :D
Shasta
Mar 30, 2008 Shasta marked it as to-read
From all the reviews I've read about this book, I am getting so antsy for it to arrive in my mail...it sounds absolutely amazing!!! 2 more days!!!
Aaron
Mar 29, 2011 Aaron marked it as to-read
Boise library doesn't have this book, so I don't think I'll be reading this one.
Tiah
Aug 19, 2010 Tiah rated it it was amazing
Sick & Twisted w/ tight writing - Like it.
Jasmine Perry
Jasmine Perry marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2016
A
A marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2016
Amanda
Amanda marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
Jessica De Vries
Jessica De Vries marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2016
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Bumped by JM Coetzee... 1 28 Apr 28, 2008 02:30PM  
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Richard de Nooy (1965) grew up in Johannesburg, but has lived in Amsterdam for the past 25 years. He writes his novels in English and Dutch.

His first novel Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot (Jacana, 2007) won the University of Johannesburg Prize for Best First Book. It was later published in Dutch as "Zes beetwonden en een tetanusprik" (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2008) in the Netherlands.

De Nooy was
...more
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“Sometimes we encounter men, even entire families, whose gross ignorance, unappealing mien or reckless habits make us wonder how their genes have survived the trials and tribulations of the ages. Yet we do well to remember that, should the world be plunged into nuclear holocaust, the principal candidate for survival is neither man, nor the great elephant, nor the swift stallion, nor the wily fox – it is the lowly cockroach.” 10 likes
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