Siria's Reviews > Tsotsi

Tsotsi by Athol Fugard
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's review
Feb 06, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 20th-century, south-african-fiction
Read from February 06 to 19, 2012

Tsotsi is a novel set in a South African township in the late Seventies, where a young nameless thug (the 'tsotsi' of the title) finds himself with a newborn to care for. I feel that this might have made a better drama or movie than it did a novel (indeed, it was made into a movie a few years ago); some of the characters are two-dimensional/symbolic enough on the page that I think they might have worked better in that medium. I've also seen some commentary online saying that this isn't a very accurate depiction of life for young black man in the Soweto of the time, singling out in particular that Fugard has Tsotsi and his gang talking in Afrikaans to one another, but as I'm far from an expert on South Africa I can't speak to the accuracy of that critique. Still, it's mostly well-written (apart from one scene towards the end set in the grounds of a church that had all the subtlety of an anvil dropping), even if I don't know that I'll find it especially memorable.

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02/06/2012 page 4
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