A.J.'s Reviews > A Walk in the Night and Other Stories

A Walk in the Night and Other Stories by Alex La Guma
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Mar 22, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction
Read in March, 2009

I don't have strong feelings either way about this book. It's a story about anger and apartheid. Characters stuck in a grimy South African world suffer and simmer and stew. The bloodshed doesn't begin in earnest during the time period in which the story is set, but as a Preview of Coming Attractions this novella opens up the psyche of an oppressed and despairing people.

The prose is okay. I'm a limited-description sort of guy, and sometimes this story is a few adjectives short of fully capturing Montana in the fall. Sometimes storylines sound pretty simple when they're broken down to their actual plot points; such would be the case here. It's a character story, not something that's going to get talked about in Camelot. Human rights and ongoing personal tragedy are on display.

I'd take a pass on this unless you're just that interested. I guess the best way to describe this is a book that fulfills its purpose, but its purpose isn't grandiose. Entertainment value is fairly limited and considering the subject matter, there are ways to take a story set in this scenario that might've amped up the reader's emotional reaction. As it is, three stars.
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