Thursday, August 10, 2017

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Book of the Day: Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor


Quote of the day: 
Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. -Voltaire






I remember reading a lot of Enid Blyton books, the 'Enchanted Wood', and 'Famous Five' just to name a few. She was an English Children's writer and a famous one at that. It got me thinking about childhood and how our minds and thoughts change overtime as we grow older. Children's books loses the appeal once you've gone past a certain age, except when you have to read to children. I may just go back to reading one of her titles to see if it brings back memories of reading late into the night, signed library cards, and the good old feeling of being part of an adventure.

While pondering that, the book of the day is 'Bitter Fruit' by South African author and poet Achmat Dangor which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize after it came out. The book revolves around three main characters -Silas Ali, his wife Lydia and their son Mickey. All three become faced with a traumatic event that had occurred twenty years prior coming back to haunt their normal way of life. The last time Silas encountered this character called the 'Lieutenant', he was locked in the back of a police van watching helplessly as Lydia was assaulted. It takes just a chance encounter for secrets and memories that had been festering for years to come out in the open. The narration is mostly about the lives of these characters, the people around them and how their relationship evolves. Set in nineties South Africa, a country seemingly at peace with itself after rising from the dark past of apartheid, it delves into the political environment before and during that time, it explores love and abuse, betrayal and its deep psychological effects.

While Silas and Lydia appear to lead a normal life, everything is not always as it seems, and with their emotionally detached son, sadness, wounds, heartache and regrets run deep in the family, hanging surreptitiously throughout the entire story.

If you are looking at reading something different from the usual, Dangor's Bitter Fruit is surely one to look at. He excels at descriptive narration. It is a decent read, and a note that it explores different forms of sexuality as well and therefore this should come as no surprise if you do decide to read this book.

What book are you reading?


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Charles Mingus - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

40 comments:

  1. Just love the quote you've chosen today.
    As a child I always enjoyed reading Enid Blyton.
    I'm currently reading a novel set in the 1860's ...

    Many thanks for your review here.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hello Jan. She was a great author wasn't she. Nice of you to visit and share. Warm greetings!

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  2. Enid Blyton!!! I believe I read all her children’s books and pretended (so many times) to be one of “the group of five”, as the title “The Famous Five” was translated into Portuguese.

    I confess I have never read any book by Achmat Dangor. I will request this book from the library in a few weeks.

    I started "The Last Crossing" by Guy Vanderhaeghe.

    Voltaire was right. Of course!! : ))

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    1. Yes back then all her books were gold, and the rush to read as many as possible was real. Thanks for sharing that, and also your current book. Greetings!

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  3. I'm still reading Last Night At Twisted River (and some other books). Twisted River is very long. It's my bedroom book. I have another book in my messenger bag so I can read wherever I am. My Kindle is next to me in my office so I can read without walking to the bedroom. I like to have a book by my side at all times.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I like that you surround yourself with books which is nice. it's great to read as many books as possible at the same time and not be stuck with just one. Greetings and thanks for stopping by.

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  4. This sounds like an intriguing read! I am almost finished with the book Katharina & Martin Luther, a fascinating look at their most unlikely marriage and fascinating facts about life in the late Middle Ages and the early Reformation years.

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    1. That sounds like a pretty decent read and one to check out. Nice of you to visit and share as always. Greetings to you.

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  5. I'm having more and more trouble reading and understanding past a page. I miss a good book.

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    1. Sorry to hear that, and yes the feel of a good book can be missed. Audio books is a great alternative though. Warm greetings.

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  6. I read the Man Booker winners every year. I haven't enjoyed all of them but I like to see what good writing is!

    I just finished a Bill Slider Omnibus, a compendium of the first three books in the detective series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. It is set in Shepherd's Bush, an area of London I know and like.

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  7. Mało czytam :( Brakuje mi czasu. mam nadzieję, że to się zmieni :)

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  8. Interesting post dear! thanks for sharing

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  9. Ahh.. thinking back on some of my childhood favorites. I've always loved reading.

    This sounds like an emotionally charged story, but one worth reading.

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  10. This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  11. Thanks for the review, it sounds like a good book.

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  12. The book sounds interesting. I just got four books today that I had on hold from the library. I will be starting Chef Interrupted by Trevis Gleason. It's a new book and I think it will be a good read.

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  13. My compliments on this well written review.

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  14. Sounds like an interesting one.

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  15. Well-loved children's books never are out of style. I'm looking forward to reading to my children.

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  16. What a great review!
    And thank you for the wonderful quote!!

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  17. Enid Blyton was my favourite childhood author!
    I'm reading a Civil war story now

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  18. That quote is the perfect fit for me. I love to dance around and to read. Two fun habits that will never get anyone into trouble. Happy Thursday! Hugs...

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  19. Just finished House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure and would highly recommend it. Now reading the second Grantchester series book by James Runcie, which the recent PBS series here was based on. The books are a series of shirt stories and I believe there are 4 or 5 total so I have a few more to read yet.

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  20. Sounds like an interesting one at least.

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  21. Love the quote.
    My book is not nearly as deep.
    I am reading a light summer read right now - David Sedaris new book, Theft by Finding.
    Just what the doctor ordered...light, funny, and a stress reliever.
    Books are the best!! (no I don't do ebooks or kindle)

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  22. Hmm .. not sure that its my kind of read. Just finished Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. It was touted as being as good as All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr but I didn't think it was as good. The latter was much more suspenseful while the former was a bit plodding at times.

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  23. I wonder if the library has this one...must see

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  24. Haven't read this one. Currently I'm reading a Babylon 5 tie in novel. I really enjoyed that series

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  25. Added to my list, thanks "B" _!
    __ Nothing is... as it seems; the seems (seams, that bind the fabrics of life?) are different to each reader.
    __ Now I'm reading a bit of Joseph Lincoln's, seemingly pointless to some I expect. _m

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  26. Hope that you are well, good Sir... doctor visit today... he told me that the secondary tumor that had rupt6ured is no more... been re-adsorbed into my body... and the tumor on my heart (for the first time) has gotten a bit smaller...
    so health news much better that we had thought...!!
    and "Reading" is how we learned most of the really "bad things" that we have learned to do over these years... do not intend to use that knowledge, but still glad that we know such things...

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  27. This sounds like an interesting read. I think your date is a bit off....unless I've missed a month or so it's not quite September 8th yet...:)

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  28. Hi Blogoratti - I don't think I read Enid Blyton as a kid ... I guess there were other books around - we always had books. Your note on the Achmat Dangor 'Bitter Fruit' looks to be heart rending - such difficult times in SA - I'd left by then, but still worry about where they are going. I must add Achmat to my list to read - thanks for letting us know: he looks like a fascinating author with lots of development projects going on in SA ...

    The Katherina van Bora and Luther story is pretty amazing - I found out a little about them and gave a (very low level) talk ... very basic - but fascinating to have learnt about their relationship etc ...

    Cheers Hilary

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  29. unless I've missed a month or so it's not quite September 8th yet...:)

    หีฟิต

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  30. i must say i am not familiar with this book. interesting. i will look into it more. thanks. ( :

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  31. I think your date is a bit off....unless I've missed a month or so it's not quite September 8th yet...:)


    แคมฟรอก

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