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An Unnatural History: Hedley Twidle Reviews Henrietta Rose-Innes' Green Lion

Jane Rosenthal Reviews The Book of War by James Whyle

The Book of WarVerdict: carrot

Defectors and heathens versus irregulars and settlers, with Fingo levies and Hottentots uncertainly deployed — these are some of the men carrying arms, opponents in this rather extraordinary novel that has been called “a rare feast” by William ­Kentridge (and I agree with him).

It is set during what is variously called the Eighth Frontier War, the War of Mlanjeni, or the War of the Prophet, which was fought from 1850 to 1853 in the deep mountainous territory of the Amatolas “that ranged away to the east and displayed their jagged edges like ancient artefacts whose listed purpose is slaughter”.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">James Whyle</a>
    James Whyle
    May 28th, 2012 @15:23 #

    This seems a good time and place to thank Pete van der Woude for his extraordinary care and dedication in editing the book. It was a great pleasure to work with him.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    May 31st, 2012 @22:51 #

    Go Pete! And James, how nice to see this acknowledgement of Pete's work.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">James Whyle</a>
    James Whyle
    June 1st, 2012 @09:45 #

    Thank you Helen. And because the writer is hardly impartial in these assessments, I will quote Maggie Davey: "Pete did a very good job."


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