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El Hermoso Chillido de los Cerdos

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Patrick Winter, un joven sudafricano, ha sido recientemente dispensado de servir en el ejército de su país a causa de su estado mental. Tras sufrir una experiencia traumática en la vecina África del Sudoeste, regresa a Sudáfrica para enterarse de que su madre tiene un nuevo amante, esta vez un hombre negro poco mayor que él. Patrick inicia un largo camino de vuelta a Áfric ...more
Published (first published 1988)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  127 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having become unmoored during his military services - fighting against Namibian independence - Patrick feels increasingly disconnected from the world around him. He returns to Namibia at the time of its first free elections but struggling to find an identify for himself, he doesn't quite understand what's happening to him: "I was losing all sense of who I was by then, but I didn’t know how to give voice to the gathering absence." Confused, he vainly tries to make sense of not just himself but, i ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Galgut became well-known for The Good Doctor, which was sort of Disgrace Part Two, but I much prefer this earlier, more uneven novel. Its about a young, implicitly gay, white south african man who has been conscripted into the south african army and fought in the border wars of the late 1980s in Namibia. He is discharged, having lost his mind for a while after a boy he loved is killed, and the story begins shortly after his discharge, when he is back in Namibia with his mother and her new black ...more
K.J. Chapman
3.5 out of 5*

Patrick is a white South African who had been drafted into the South African army to fight at the border of Namibia in the 1980's; a war he never believed in. He had a breakdown after a soldier he loved was killed in combat, and now, after an honourable discharge, he has to start his life again with sexual orientation confusion, a promiscuous mother, and her Namibian, SWAPO activist lover. The narrative shows Patrick's struggle with his identity, whilst highlighting an important his
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-fiction
An interesting story of returning from war after fighting for something you never believed in, and trying to find a true identity during the turbulent times during the end of Apartheid. Patrick is a young, white South African returning from war at the border between Namibia and Angola. He left for battle without an identity, clearly confused both politically and sexually, and returns scarred. He comes back to live with his newly divorced and sexually adventurous actress mother. Written from Patr ...more
Sean de la Rosa
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"In this world, you can get anybody to do anything if you just keep at it. People will come round to any idea, even an idea they hate, if you persist. Persist. Don't ever give up."

The book tells the story of Patrick Winter, a young South African discharged from military service after a nervous breakdown in Namibia. In returning to Namibia he relives the events that lead up to the breakdown. This short piece is tense, stressed and brilliantly written - 100% Damon Galgut!
Joseph Schreiber
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have read this book more than once. It is a finely crafted coming of age story set at a point of transformation in South Africa. For a full review see
Dan Pierce
A nice easy read but I'm not sure that it was worth it. I didn't really get the point of it.
I give this book between 3.5 and 4.00 stars. The book is set in Namibia, at the time of the country's first elections, but its main focus is on the two South African protagonists: a son (a former conscripted soldier in the South African army who was deployed in Namibia), and his mother (a women who seems engaged in a perpetual quest to shake off her Afrikaner roots and her years of married life) as they go on a trip to Namibia to meet up with the mother's latest lover. The book explores these ch ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Can a book live up to a title as intense as that? Yes it can.

Simply written, beautifully complex, convoluted and dark. It's about race, family, relationships, politics. The book is stuffed full of so much, it is astounding.

If you told me it was a book about South Africa, I would not have been interested. But it is so much more than that. It grabbed me and gave me hope for literature at a time when I was feeling bored with reading.

I will definitely be looking for more books by this author.
A minor piece that seems more like an exercise on returning from war, on race relations and the complications of self-determination, and on growing up in southwestern Africa and not fitting into a narrative.
A Reader
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
An unusual form of literature, bare, efficient and uncomplicated. Beautiful despite - or perhaps because of that- the lack of any sentimentality.
Barry Claasen
Annoyingly cliched. For a far better example of whites trying to adapt to a changing Africa rather read Doris Lessing's The Grass is Singing.
Writer's Edit
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991) has the undertones of brilliance that becomes prominent in Damon Galgut’s later works – the poignant, serious notes and the underlying love affair with South Africa and men, but fails to go somewhere. Where Booker-shortlistedThe Good Doctor (2003) and In A Strange Room (2010), leave you feeling lost for words in the best possible way, Beautiful Screaming of Pigs aims for an anticlimactic finish but falls flat, in the wrong way. However, despite this, Galgut ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel beautifully and poignantly captures the idea of a soldier apathetically returning to a country where he was forced to fight in a war he did not care for against an enemy he was indifferent to. The sadness of the main characters filters through the book colouring and clouding all its elements, the settings and its minor characters. Each character is highlighting a southern African identity that has had to, and still has to, alter in this growing and changing Africa.
While many themes a
Stef Smulders
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, as all his novels, this short one seems unfinished somehow, without a clear goal. The description of the young man's mental breakdown is terrifying. All the characters are portrayed well. I would like a follow-up of this story.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Revised edition, 2006
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Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was seventeen. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Quarry, The Good Doctor and The Impostor. The Good Doctor was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Dublin/IMPAC Award. The Imposter was also shortlisted for the Com ...more