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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  31 reviews
EILANDE is méér as net 'n boek. Dis 'n magistrale roman, 'n oerteks wat saam met die Dagjoernaal van Jan van Riebeeck gelees behoort te word. Dis eintlik 'n gebeurtenis wat 'n andersmaak bring vir elkeen wat dit onder hande neem.

Maar dis ook 'n helder boek. Dit sê vir jou in die eerste lang paragraaf wat dit gaan doen, en dan doen dit daardie ding. Dit plaas on
Paperback, 757 pages
Published July 3rd 2003 by Tafelberg (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  346 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Bruce Noon
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
About Islands by Dan Sleigh: I hated this book in the way you are supposed to hate a book. Dan must have pulled the historical records. He had fires and flood to explain gaps in the history rather than trying to fill in gaps for which there was no record. I can only say that I have dreamt about the characters, hoping that things would change. Characters tortured by well meaning bureaucrats, medical records of the citizenry, prison sentences, dreams of the Orient. Life on Islands thought to be id ...more
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the long voyage to the Indonesian Spice Islands the Dutch East Indies Company needed a refueling station to take on fresh water, food and fuel. For this purpose they chose a bay in front of Table Mountain with Robben Island in the vicinity. Based on historical accounts and filled with interesting family, botanical, legal, trades and crafts, and ethnologic information, this fascinating novel by South African writer Dan Sleigh recounts the first landing efforts, the negotiations with the local ...more
Really enjoyed this just for the history alone, and South Africa is one of those places I want to visit.
Unique way of telling the story of someone, with none of the 7 stories about the main character, but her father, her husband and five other men who know her. Sometimes difficult to see Pieternella as the main character for that reason.
halfway through; they were right when they compared to Tolstoy. Thus far I love the sweep of action all the way from the Cape to Far East and back to the Low Countries....It's not a casual read though....Last chapter not quite as enjoyable as the previous...sort of anti-climatic. Enjoyed it overall.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened this as an audio book last year but still remember it as a terrific historical novel. Since so many reviewers expressed negative view points, it might have been fortunate I listened to this saga but I think I would have treasured it either way.

May 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-list-books
I cannot express how happy I am to have finally finished this book. I don't think, out of it's overlong 758 pages, there was a single part I at all enjoyed. It's a ridiculously dry telling of the colonisation of the South Cape of Africa by the Dutch "Company," told from seven different viewpoints, all of which overlap to some, sometime great unneeded extent, all written with the same dry tinge of boredom. A multitude of reviewers have described this book as epic - the only thing about it that is ...more
This book was hard work, but not without enjoyment. Interesting way to tell a story, each chapter a different perspective about one person but also about the narrator of that chapter. I enjoyed learning another facet of the Dutch East India company, and more of the history of Mauritius and South Africa.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read! Well researched, well written, up there with my all time favourites
Jeroen Van de Crommenacker
Beautiful book with a great historic background. I enjoyed it, even though in places it can be a bit overlong.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die skrywer gee nie die storie met ʼn teelepeltjie vir die leser in nie. Selfs met die inligting wat hy in die inleiding / voorwoord gee, was ek maar goed verdwaal. Eers nadat ek ʼn bespreking van die boek gelees het, het ek agter die kap van die byl gekom.
Met die eerste lees kon ek nie die boek neersit nie, ek was ingetrek in die gebeure, ontsteld, nuuskierig, verslae. Met die tweede lees (ja, al 757 bladsye) het ek stadiger gelees, betekenis van woorde nageslaan, plekke op kaarte gesoek en my p
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
Bravo to Dan Sleigh for a meticulous historical recreation of the first fifty years or so of colonisation of the Western Cape and Mauritius by the Dutch East India company. Bravo for selecting a plausible thread to run through his epic tapestry - the central character being Pieternella, the offspring of the Cape's first mixed race marriage. And Bravo to anyone who got through the whole 758 pages without at least once or twice crying out for a bit more emotion and drama. A worthy production, and ...more
Malcolm Retief
Well done - good read for any South African!
Byron Varvel
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally picked this book up in the library to help me understand Dutch colonial culture as I am writing my own work that takes place in Sumatra in a colonial setting. Also, this was Sleigh's first novel himself so I thought the this novel was perfect.

Honestly, this was rugged South Africa in an nutshell in a fictive tale of the pre-Boer Wars era. Sleigh did an excellent job in portraying Griqua (mixed Euro-African person in South Africa) and Indigenous South African cultures pri
Jul 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I obtained Islands through’s used book section and I did have to wait a bit in order to receive it.

What makes it more disappointing is that the hassle was not worth it as I did not really like the book.

Islands takes place in South Africa, during the mid 1600’s when it was just being colonised by the Dutch. Here we meet the South African Native Chief Harry, who was the first African to make friends with these colonisers and act as a go-between. He later inducts h
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: more-like-this
Fascinating historical fiction starts off strong but wanes in the latter half. I struggled to complete the final chapter. One can only tie so many loose ends before it becomes tedious. However on the whole, the book was very interesting, informative and worth the effort.

I think this story illustrates how little we really have changed over the centuries. The details of our circumstances have evolved, but our hopes and disappointments, our fight to reach orang lama or vanish into oblivion
Luke d'Araceno
An in-depth description of early Dutch colonial days on the West Cape and Mauritius. This work of fiction is firmly based on historical events, and Google has been a great additional source to me for verifying the complex genealogical and professional links between the characters.
Being a South African, the author has done a great research job to write in detail about Dutch places, culture, habits, language, etc.
As for its subject - the rise and decline of the Dutch/East-Indian trading company
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was... well, for lack of a better term...ok. I read it because I'm going to South Africa, and it's true, I did gain a lot of valuable insight into the history and colonization of the Cape. None the less, the English translation is a bit messy, making it even harder to follow. The book is too long and just doesn't suck you in the way some other epic historical novels do. I enjoyed some parts but definitely wouldn't recommend it.
Tom De
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastisch verhaal over een ongelooflijk boeiende periode. De verschillende personages laten je echt voelen hoe het was om te leven en te sterven in de Kaap in de 17de eeuw. De geopolitieke rol van Nederland in die periode blijft mij verbazen. En opdezelfde achtergrond zijn er personages geschilderd met zulke details dat je je afvraagt wat feit is en wat fictie.

De Nederlandse vertaling is heel sterk en aangenaam on te lezen.
Jessica Haider
another meh book. only difference is this one clocked in at just over 750 pages of meh. It would have held my interest better if it had been edited to focus the plot...probably by removing around 200 pages.
Fictionalized history of the founding of South Africa by the East Indian Company. Explores the relations between the colonizers and the native population. Beautiful description of the peoples and lands.
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was okay, but not more than that. Sometimes it was very interesting, but i couldn't sympathize with any of the characters. Nobody was very likable. I think the subject is really fascinating, but the style of writing can't hold my interest.
Meghan Helbick rd
I was expecting something more engaging, I wanted to connect to the characters, but the way it was written I couldn't. I like it for the history alone, and the last chapter that was more thought provoking. But sort of like reading a textbook much of the time.
Jacqueline Zirkzee
An amazing and admirable effort, but very unbalanced - part of it was lively and interesting, part excruciatingly boring
Kathleen McRae
Jul 23, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthropology
The subject was an interesting one but I found the book hard to read
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

the book was okay but it was so long with too many details that did not matter. It just made you lose track of the story.
Anton Bergh
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb; fascinating story of the early Cape; brings it vividly to life
Jun 30, 2010 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly fascinating book, but I have found shatteringly painful and difficult to read. I have currently hit the limit of my emotional resillience and need a break before continuing!
Nov 23, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
didn't finish it!
Tim O'Neill
rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2018
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