Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Father, My Monster: A True Story” as Want to Read:
My Father, My Monster: A True Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Father, My Monster: A True Story

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Bright, articulate, and charismatic, former journalist and police spokesman McIntosh Polela has been on African television screens for many years. But behind a dazzling career, Polela’s troubled past haunts him. When he was a child, both his parents disappeared, leaving him and his sister Zinhle to suffer years of abuse. The story of Polela’s journey to uncover the truth, ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Jacana Media (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Father, My Monster, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Father, My Monster

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Ntombezinhle Nzama
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
McIntosh and his Sister Zinhle went through so much in life. Imagine not being able to understand the life you have been thrusted into only to find out 6 years later that your suffering is due to your father taking your mother's life...There are so many obstacles which were on his way but he was able to over come all of that. The worst part for me was when he actually met his father after so many years only to confirm that his father really is the monster he grew up believing he is... thank you ...more
Diane Brown
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 rating
I really enjoyed McIntosh's book. This book certainly helps to explain who he is. It is a sad story and he was brave to put to paper the realities of his childhood. He explores violence, anger, guilt and forgiveness; and the possibility that some people need to be forgiven, even though they do not seem to have any redeeming qualities.
The role of women, their value in SA society is a subject that needs to be explored further by the society at large - particularly on femicide (which is
Charlie Tjale
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Must be one of the best well written book that I have read in 10 years from a south african Author.He wisely uses emotion and suspense very well and at the height of emotion which will probably be chapter 15 he strategically sober up.Amazing choice of words like I wasnt bothered with prison"i was convinced revenge was just" words like "I crave for Love" it is a brave account of a man who rose above all odds, a sheer story of grace.He craftly uses suspense to keep a reader glued.One wants to find ...more
Zozo Mogoera
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I did not want to put this book down. I desperately wanted to find out about what really happened to his mom.A very good read, enjoyed the suspense
Zanele Ngwenya
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
It was an easy read. I would have loved if investigated more on his mother's death. Through faith and prayer anything is possible.

Education is the key to success!
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a disturbing book, worth the read. So many stories like this yet to be told
Jul 14, 2013 added it
Shelves: in-reading-pile
I found this absolutely riveting. No matter how many stories I read about kids being neglected or abused by family members, I am still horrified every time. This is an amazing story about someone we would often see and hear in the media and how himself and his little sister survived their incredibly difficult childhood. I'm not sure but it almost felt like this was written in a different language and translated to English...or maybe that's because McIntosh thinks in a different language? Great S ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-my-copy
Still on chapter 3. Author still giving a bit of background to the story.
Smangele Belebesi
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read it in 4 hours, couldn't put it down. Found myself asking God to keep me so i can be there for my child. Kunzima emhlabeni.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it
I found the suspence good and the only reason I did not put it down was that I wanted to find out what happened to his mom and why was his dad a monster. It was well written.
Zoleka Mbilini
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In awe. Absolutely riveting. My heart still sinks at flashbacks of the experiences McIntosh and Zinhle went through, more so as I am confronted by the reality that there are still children exposed to such brutal upbringing and adults who have not taken the time to address their abusive childhoods. A definite read for those tormented by their childhood experiences. Those who struggle to confront and resolve impaired relationships. Those who find themselves perpetuating a pattern of abusive nature ...more
Landa Mabenge
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book does not tell a story-it rehashes events in the authors life. I feel McIntosh failed to capture his audience as the story could be told but wasn't. Reading the book I realized many a black child had a similar if not worse story to tell. he could have delivered this book to be the median that ties all those stories to result in hope (what with him having such a presence).
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
intense life story!
Riana Snyders
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Was very interesting to read. !
S'Lindokuhle Mdontswa
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I could not for the life of me out the book down, great read over the festive season
Emma Zwapo
Sep 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Well written book which gives detailed events of things that happened to him. Also very inspirational - to think he could have used the situation as an excuse but he chose otherwise. Phenomenal!!!
Colleen Smith
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. An amazing, truly inspiring read. Amazing what true courage and self belief can overcome.
Sibongile Mofokeng
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very sad book, i cried throughout. I was horrified with what he went through...
Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
this book just made me revisit my manuscript *sad*
Keitumetse Letebele
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
A book of hope
Lorato Makau
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hloni Dlamini
rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2018
rated it did not like it
Apr 15, 2015
Justine Corbett
rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2013
Raesibe Mphahlele Mphahlele
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
very well written, detailed and easy to read
Mabotseba Masangane
rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2016
Recato Cristiano
rated it liked it
Sep 08, 2014
David Henry
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2017
rated it it was ok
Nov 13, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 21, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Nonfiction Deals

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Manifest Your Destiny: Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Ev
    $11.74 $1.99
  • A Three Dog Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    $7.99 $2.99
  • My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
    $6.99 $0.99
  • Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
    $19.99 $2.99
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
    $14.99 $2.99
  • I'd Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific
    $10.99 $1.99
  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Dear Bob and Sue
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Hello Mornings: How to Build a Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Sea Around Us
    $17.99 $1.99
  • This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century
    $11.99 $3.99
  • The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
    $8.99 $2.49
  • The Millionaire Fastlane
    $7.99 $2.49
  • Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive (Mental Mastery Book 1)
    $9.99 $3.49
  • Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Definitive Book of Body Language
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes
    $10.99 $3.99
  • Poor Your Soul: A Memoir
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
    $9.99 $3.49
  • If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion
    $15.95 $1.99
  • 1812: The War That Forged a Nation
    $14.99 $1.99