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Red Dog

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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  22 reviews

A blistering, brutal novel of the South African frontier from a major new literary voice

Winner of four major South African prizes

At the end of the eighteenth century, a giant strides the Cape Colony frontier. Coenraad de Buys is a legend, a polygamist, a swindler and a big talker; a rebel who fights with Xhosa chieftains against the Boers and British; the fierce

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Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published June 6th 2019 by Pushkin Press (first published October 20th 2014)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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Margitte


This book is a fictional rendition of the live of the the outlaw, scoundrel, frontier farmer, Coenraad De Buys. The character was taken from the footnotes of history and brought alive.

The institutionalized history, forbidding an alternative perception or interpretation, excluded characters such as Coenraad De Buys. One of the main reasons was that he was a scroundrel pioneer, who refused to be bordered in by either politics, religion or social rules. Almost seven feet tall, born in 1761, from
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Paul Fulcher
Aanskou my: Ek is die legende Coenraad de Buys. Kom, laat ek jou besmet, my erflik belaste leser. As jy hier lees, sien jy wat ek sien.
 
Behold me: I am the legend Coenraad de Buys.  Come let me contaminate you, my reader of tainted stock.  If you read this, you see what I see.
 
 
'Buys: n Grensroman' (≈ 'Buys: a Border Novel') by William Anker was originally published in 2014.  The author explains the origin of the novel here: https://www.litnet.co.za/tien-vrae-wi...

The translation from Afrikaans
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Abbie | ab_reads
(#gifted @thebookerprizes) Im sorry that my first review since the longlist has been announced for the International Prize cant be more positive, but Im also glad I read this one first. Surely they can only get better from here on out?
.
You might have seen that Anker has been criticised for this novel, described in the English afterword as a homage to Cormac McCarthy, while a few reviewers think its closer to plagiarism than a homage. Indeed, when I started reading but before I looked up the
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Andy Weston
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set at the birth of South Africa in the late 1700s this is the story of Coenraad de Buys; a brigand and survivor, a rapist and a wedded family man with numerous wives and children, a colonist and yet a fugitive, but above all, a revolutionary and a hero. He is a larger than life character, even at seven feet tall, and very much the centre of this epic tale, pushing those interact with him to bit parts - perpetually followed as he rides by packs of wild dogs.
Its part novel, part historical
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De Wet
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coenraad de Buys, jou rowwe bliksem.

Hierdie was vir my 'n boek van twee helftes.

Die eerste 230 bladsye dek rofweg die eerste 40 jaar van Buys se lewe. Hierdie is dan ook verreweg die beste gedeelte van die boek, 'n lekker skop in die maag met heelwat uiteenlopende gebeure om die aandag en verbeelding vas te vang.

Hier so van bladsy 200 af al verander die pas egter en verval die boek al te dikwels in 'n groef van alledaagse sleur. Buys wat nogmaals huis oppak en elders vestig. Buys wat jag. Buys
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Madri
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ek gaan jou verblind en verbyster met my gestaltes, met my alvermoënde blik. Ek is ʼn trekvogel, ek neem jou op vlerke. Streel oor my kruis en jy sal weet ek is geen engel nie. Ek ken jou goed. Ek weet jy kan nie wegkyk nie (10). Buys: 'n Grensroman is 'n dig verweefde teks, uitdagend, indrukwekkend, grensverskuiwend, eenvoudig briljant. ...more
Coenraad
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boekwurms
Die lees van hierdie boek was oorweldigend en asembenemend. Die verhaal loop ver en wyd op die spore van Coenraad de Buys, uit die laat agtiende, vroeë negentiende eeu. Sy paaie het die grense van die Nederlandse / Britse / Bataafse / Britse kolonie aan die Kaap oorskry, asook die grense tussen rasse (wat destyds polities veel strenger was as seksueel) en die grens van die reg. Groter as lewensgroot; daarom ook die lywigheid van die roman. Buys, in sy hedendaagse gedaante van Alom- Buys, 'n ...more
Trisa Hugo
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Die woestaard, plunderaar, veelwywer, filosoof, hedonis, Coenraad de Buys wat ook saggies met 'n vlieg kon praat en 'n kruiekonkoksie maak om 'n kindjie se gebrande voetjies te versorg, is 'n verskriklike karakter. Ek dink ek is 'n bietjie verlief op hom.
Waldimar Pelser
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'n Absolute moet. Engelse lesers, hopelik is daar gou 'n vertaling.
Jackie Law
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coenraad de Buys was the great grandson of French immigrants who farmed in the Cape area of South Africa from the seventeenth century. His grandfather and then father married Cape Dutch women and had numerous children. When his father died of suspected poisoning, the seven year old boy chose to live with his sister, Geertruy, raising livestock he received from his fathers estate on her husbands farm. By the early 1780s Coenraad had his own farm and had taken a common law wife of slave descent. ...more
Vivek Tejuja
I waited, and waited, and waited some more for this book to get better. I tried. I wanted to give it another chance, which I did. I did not not finish it. I persisted. I read. I read more. I braved through it. I finished the book and out come a big sigh of relief.

Again, Red Dog was hugely atmospheric, but the book somehow went nowhere. I do not say this because Anker was criticised for this novel, as some reviewers think it has similarities to McCarthy's writing. I say this because I honestly
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Robert Luke
Really frustrating this book. I loved the storyline, was very interested in the subject, but found myself doing other things rather than reading it? Eventually I realised that I found the style of writing uncomfortable to me. So instead of enjoying the story unfold, I was getting stressed reading it. Sorry, just not my style and so frustrating as I so wanted to enjoy this fascinating part of South African history - crucial you could say.
Christo Bester
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well researched, insightful and extremely well written book.
Unfortunately I found it at least 1/3 too long! Halfway though I started getting restless.
Nevertheless, it shed light on the real people at the frontiers Of the Cape in the late 1700s, which ignited the spark in me to read more about this period. I will follow up on your suggestions, Margit!
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Alex Rogers
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brutal, hyper-masculine, lyrical, infuriating - a hell of a book, best thing I've read from SA for many years. Superb translation from Afrikaans allows it to flow. Not everyone's cup of rooibos, but it's like a magic mirror into SA's dark settler past, and an unflinching look at men, power and frontier life. Exceptional and deeply unsettling
Willem Myburgh
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
n Donker roman vol angs, avontuur, wreedheid en liefde. Buys is alom en Anker het weereens my betower met sy taal gebruik.
Roger Abrahams
Originele roman over een Zuid-Afrikaanse vrijbuiter in een periode dat Zuid-Afrika als land amper bestond. Rauw en wild, maar gaandeweg verzandt het verhaal een beetje in meer van hetzelfde.
Daniel Mouton
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'n Wonderlike, uitstekende verhaal wat onder anderee die pioniersgeskiedenis van die Oos-Kaap dramaties ontsluit. Mens lees die boek met verwondering - weens Coenraad Buys, die hoofkarakter, se dramatiese lewe, én die vermoër van die skrywer om die verhaal pakkend te vertel.
Erna
Nov 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My verwagting was 'n historiese roman, maar hierdie boek is meer fiksie as feite en is basies 'n verbeeldingsvlug van Willem Anker. Ander historiese romans soos bv deur Daleen Matthee en Dan Sleigh, bevat beduidend meer historiese navorsing en gee objektiewe insig oor die periode, wat hier afwesig is. Ingrid Winterbach se op die voorblad: "Briljant verbeel en verbeeld", wat tesame met my nuuskierigheid oor Coenraad Buys my oorreed het om die boek te koop. Dit is een van die min boeke wat ek nie ...more
Loraine
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
'n Verbluffende tour de force. Definitief nie vir diegene wat glo dat die Trekboere preuts, gelowig en met mooi meubels die binneland ingetrek het nie. Die eksplisiete seksbeskrwyings en krutaal sal baie lesers ontstel. Die omswerwinge van Buys, is sover ek kon vasstel, grootliks histories korrek. Buys is nie iemand wat in die geskiedenisboeke aandag gekry het as 'n eerste trekker nie - juis oor sy talle huwelike oor die kleurgrens. Anker se skryfstyl is robuus en ek kon die boek nie neersit ...more
Sylvia Boshoff
Hoekom moet hedendaagse skrywers in Afrikaans so kru omgaan met die taal? Anker probeer dalk die teks 'stroop' van enige tierlantyntjies, net soos Buys se karakter, maar hy laat 'n droee, growwe leeservaring agter wat min vashou plekke het vir die leser. Ek lees eerder 'n feitlike boek of teks oor Buys as hierdie een-man 1ste persoon vertelling wat my glad nie boei nie.
Isaw
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
For me, a good read of a book that has been translated, is that you don't know that this is the case. Well Michiel Heyns has not done a good job, if you have to stop reading to look things up, then you are doing his work, maybe he does not want an average guy to read this.
Muriel Brent
fabulous characters. really draws you in. a bit lengthy though
Anneke reijnders
rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2017
Nixie
rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2016
Celia Becker
rated it liked it
May 20, 2017
Stefan Lotz
rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2017
Dalene Vermeulen
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2020
Andre Botes
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2016
Jacques de Villiers
rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2016
Nigel Morgan
rated it it was ok
Apr 22, 2016
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The Mookse and th...: 2020 International Booker Longlist: Red Dog 22 68 Mar 18, 2020 10:09PM  

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Willem Anker was born in Citrusdal on February 3, 1979. He matriculated at Hugenote High School in Wellington in 1996. He has worked as barman, weaver, security guard and at a moving company for two days. At present he lectures in creative writing at the University of Stellenbosch. He obtained his D.Litt at the same university in 2007.

In 2004 he wrote the script for the physical theatre piece
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“Alles wat leef en beef is vreemdelinge op hierdie blou kluit. Dieaarde verdra lewe, maar sy het dit nie gebaar nie. G’n wonder jy kan nie jou sit kry nie. G’n wonder jy voel nooit tuis nie. G’n wonder jy wil heeltyd uit- en wegvlieg. Styg maar op en bespied die wydtes: jy sal geen vaderland vind nie. Daar is spore in die sand en stories oor die spore en verder net verlange en wind.

(Buys se woorde aan 'n vlieg)”
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