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The Quiet Violence of Dreams

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Bound to make waves. In this daring novel, the author gives a startling account of the inner workings of contemporary South African urban culture. In doing so, he ventures into unexplored areas and takes local writing in English to places it hasn't been before.

The Quiet Violence of Dreams is set in Cape Town's cosmopolitan neighbourhoods - Observatory, Mowbray and Sea
Paperback, 457 pages
Published April 30th 2010 by Kwela Books (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  236 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
K. Sello Duiker, even his name is dramatic.

This very dramatic story of Tshepo AKA Angelo was such an emotional rollercoaster. I sometimes felt like slapping him, Tshepo, other times, I just wanted to fold him in a hearty embrace and say, "Don't be afraid, do you". And then, I Iook back to the timelines, how receptive were SAfricans of the LGBT community then? Have we made any inroads in that regards? All I know is, we are still persecuting them for not fitting into our neatly labelled and lined
My review cannot begin to cover the complexity of this novel’s six-hundred pages. Set in Cape Town, this book is looks at post-apartheid society through the lens of sex, desire, and race. The main character here is Tshepo but the narrative is made up of alternating points of view of his friends and people he meets along the way at the psychiatric institution, his home, and work. The language is plain, almost like direct speech, and reads like multiple diaries because each chapter is first person ...more
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
I had been looking forward to reading this novel by a gay black South African writer literally for years, so it's with rather a heavy heart that I am abandoning it at the 15% mark: I just really didn't care for the writing. I'm glad so many others have had a more positive experience.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It will take years before another South African book even comes close to the magic, beauty and brilliance that was and still is SKDs TQVOD.

Recommended reading for everyone. I must have read this book about four times and I still can't get enough of it.
Mzoxolo Christopher
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Bloody Brilliant! What a captivating masterpiece.

Having read Thirteen Cents I didn't think nor couldn't see how K. Sello Duiker could live up to his first novel as it was superb piece of writing. But he out did himself with this one. The author had gone further into the depth of his brilliant mind, tender heart and tore a piece of his soul as he breathed life into words; like a great artist, his madness was his genius played bare on paper one cannot help to be sucked into twisted
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Awesomely written dark book, it pushed a lot of boundaries and addressed a lot of societal questions like how we view gays, how and why people hate other Africans yet accept European immigrants.
I think the writer sacrificed some of the credibility to make a poiunt, like how Tsepho was raped, it makes no sense at all, the attack was unprovoked and so random, i felt like the writer wanted to include that rape scene but just couldnt find a proper opening so he just threw it in there.And also Tsepos
Siyanda Kave
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful writer, very captivating. Loved the book from beginning to just about the end ( didn't like the ending, it felt rushed). Definitely recommend this book to everyone
Demetri Kirchberg
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“You must go where love leads you, even when you are going towards trouble”
(382). This novel is, at its core, a South African coming of age story that tackles several issues most American texts of the same genre don’t dare to address. Duiker took his own life in 2005 after suffering a type of psychotic break amd I can't help but see this text as partly autobiographical. This story is that of Tshepo, like Duiker, a journalism student at Rhodes who comes
Nyakallo Maleke
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
wow, What. A. Read! a simple, raw, raunchy well written novel. exploring the experiences of several characters. Tshepo, the lead navigates his relationships both personal, social and familial through each encounter that he has with them. my favourite character was Mmabatho who in the early stages of the novel portrays a self-assured, self-confident black queer woman who suddenly finds herself tied down when she commits to a relationship with Arné- a german man. I found her slightly frustrating ...more
Jul 27, 2011 added it
Lots to think about. I couldn't put it down when I was in the middle of it, but the beginning was a little angsty and the end was a little mystical. Definitely recommended for anyone who wants to learn about South Africa today.
The most multi-layered piece of fiction I've ever read . ...more
Siyamthanda Skota
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book 5 Stars but Mmabatho irritated me right through to the end! Minus her!
One of the best young South African writers there was. Gone to soon, but these stories will forever remain.
Sisikelelwe Tshofela
Best book i have read this year..he was truly a talented writer
David Bickerton
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very difficult and emotional read for me. There is so much going on in this book, just as there is so much happening in South Africa today and at the time that the book was written. Although aspects of the book are specifically South African a lot of the themes are also universal: mental health/illness, racism, homosexuality, relationships, etc.

The book is told in the first person, mostly by the central character Tshepo, but also by those he meets, particularly the main female character
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The author has a way of making you go through all the states with the protagonist and used various narrative perspectives to give an all-round view of the protagonist and build up the storyline super well. The topics this book talks about are quite interesting, the book is based in South Africa and follows the journey of Tshepo a black South African who struggles with mental health. It is well written in the sense that when his mental health lowers to the point that ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Wow! Wow! This is one of those books that makes you wonder, when you finish it, "What do I do with my life now?" Duiker took me for one hell of a ride, I'm thoroughly schooled. I'll review this later but for now, consider the words of Franz Kafka who famously said, "I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?"

"We need to read books," he added, "that affect us like a
Merel Ela
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing, well written novel. It caught directly all my imagination and i forgot to go to the birthdayparty of a good friend coz i was totally into the book. the story captured the struggle of a young black bisexual guy that end up in groote schuur mental hospital when he is in a psychosis after smoking marihuana. The story emphasizes the struggle of youth in finding a place in an unhealthy society. K. Sello Duiker was a hero.
Faseeha Esmailjee
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book started off great but I found the ending rushed. I didn't understand the bit about his father and the evil and would've liked a bit more explanation. All in all a good South African read but would've been worth it to stop just before the last few chapters.
Kevin Mwachiro
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A powerful, captivating and engaging piece of work. It is a big book, but I got drawn into it from the get go.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Hloni Dlamini
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not one for repeating books but this is a book I would read over and over again, this is one writer I would have loved to meet.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
**this novel has themes of suicidal thoughts, matricide, rape, drug use, prostitution, and psychosis. if you are sensitive to any of these themes, this may not be an enjoyable read for you.**

so this novel could really, really benefit from a proofreader. the writing is amateurish and, while not the worst i've ever read, falls into some traps that new writers tend to be warned away from, such as the infodump where tshepo tells mmabatho about his parents.

the story itself mirrored real life--there
Sandisiwe Magadla
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap
This book covers so much and has so much heavy content. The story follows Tsepho among many other characters as he deals with his mental illness and the many questions he has about life. We also follow Tsepho as he ventures into the world of male prostitution in Cape Town. The book gets straight into what Tsepho is dealing with and Duiker dissects what's happening inside Tsepho's head. The more I learnt about Tsepho - especially during the first part of the novel - the more my heart seemed to ...more
Nicole Gervasio
I wrote a master's thesis on this novel, so my feelings about it are understandably conflicted. On the one hand, it might be the only black, gay, male, true bildungsroman to emerge from South Africa. It is densely personal yet extremely political-- and fairly insightful-- about the volatile intersections between race, class, and gender that continue to fracture post-apartheid, supposedly cosmopolitan Cape Town. Duiker's plot about discovering queer utopia, community, and belonging through sex ...more
Jul 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Different characters narrate different chapters. Generally, the story is a tale of the search for one's authentic self and the connection to a larger world of humanity. The search inevitably involves madness, a look at the darker side, and an encounter with an other worldly protector who shares a truth leading to the path out of darkness and despair. Salvation is found in the simple act of helping the next generation to survive and grow. The meanderings through the confusion, despair, etc. get ...more
aleida moreno
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: decolonize
I had to read this book for a class titled "alternate sexualities in a transnational world" and it encompassed so many themes from the class. it was a hard read initially but once you get past the first 60 pages, it gets a lot easier. it covers so many important themes of life in south africa and it's a true example of the amazing works of literature that can be experienced when we begin to deviate from the western canon.
Charlie Tjale
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I hate this book, I hate it because it is so good.i should admit what caught my attention about this book was its was sort of a somber cover portraying brokenness.It could take only a genius to come up with such a well structured novel.i like his hard hitting detailed fully convinced he was broken, it takes someone who experienced life to write like that.definitely the best novel I've read from a South African.perhaps the best overall .
Phindi Maduna
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This is an enthralling story. I liked the writing style which I found to be unpretentious and fluid but the author did get quite verbose at times and this occasionally threw me off track.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nucleus
a new instant recommendation. journeys that are honest and real (and dark and full of light)
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Kabelo 'Sello' Duiker's debut novel, Thirteen Cents won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, Africa Region.

He suffered a nervous breakdown in 2004, prior to committing suicide by hanging himself in January 2005.