Monday, August 2, 2010

No speed in hijacking tale

"It is very, very easy not to be offended by a book. You just have to shut it," author Salman Rushdie once said.

It was in that vein that, after weeks of battling, I finally decided to put away for good Mzobe's debut novel without reading it to the end. I was offended by the tedious turn that it had taken, especially after what seemed like such a promising start.

The blurb promises an "illuminating look" into the world of car hijackers in a KwaZulu-Natal township but instead delivers more lows than highs.

It follows Sipho, a teenager in Umlazi who drops out of school days before his 17th birthday. Lured by his friend Musa's lifestyle of designer clothes, money, alcohol, drugs and fast cars, he joins a gang of car hijackers where he puts his skills at disarming and fixing cars to use.

The plot fails to take off from there. It starts and stops like the rickety jalopies that are called amaphela (cockroaches) in my neck of woods.

Full report here Sowetan

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