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Jonathan Amid Reviews Shaggy: 14 Rather Amusing Rambles by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay

ShaggyVerdict: carrot

In a country beset by crime, political sideshows, service delivery protests and escalating electricity prices there doesn’t always seem to be too much to laugh about, let alone the kind of laughter that makes your abdominal muscles (that you didn’t know existed) contract and contort and your cheeks start to tickle with tears of joy. Into this seeming void step Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay, who have just released their first collection of 14 short stories, entitled Shaggy: 14 Rather Amusing Rambles. The title in itself did not prepare me one bit for the riotous, rollicking “rambles” I was about to encounter, nor did it give any real hint of its completely overblown yet often scintillating mix of razor-sharp wit, a dry-as-dust tone and a willingness to engage the reader on an intellectual level.

What Krueger and Pillay set out to do with Shaggy is completely explode the conventions and form of the traditional shaggy-dog tale, with its usual long-winded narration and anti-climactic punchline mutated here into 14 short, sharp, seriously funny monologues set forth from the mouths of a motley crew of “scheming misanthropes whose speeches are full of sound and fury, signifying very little”.

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