Book Andre Brink An ACT OF TERROR

ISBN 13: 9780671748586

An ACT OF TERROR

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9780671748586: An ACT OF TERROR

From the internationally acclaimed author of A Dry White Season comes a riveting thriller about apartheid that encompasses all the racial and political strata of contemporary South Africa. Two lovers and fellow terrorists attempt to assassinate their country's president, but things go horribly wrong.

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About the Author:

Andre Brink is the author of several novels in English, including A Dry White Season, Imaginings of Sand, The Rights of Desire, The Other Side of Silence and Philida. He has won South Africa's most important literary prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

From Publishers Weekly:

Enormously ambitious, dauntingly long and written with a profound knowledge of his country's landscape and people, this latest work by the author of A Dry White Season could qualify as the Great South African Novel. By far Brink's most impressive accomplishment to date, it touches a myriad of bases. Thomas Landman, a young news photographer from an old Boer family, has gradually become caught up in the struggle for racial justice. He has joined an anonymous Organization that performs terrorist acts designed to undermine the apartheid government; at the start of the book he detonates a car bomb that, intended to assassinate a provincial president, kills a number of bystanders. The rest of the narrative is a study of his family, horrified by his act; the police brigadier obsessed with his pursuit and capture; people he meets as he makes his getaway; friends and colleagues in the Organization; and, above all, the two women in his life, Nina and Lisa. The former is a fellow terrorist, the latter, encountered by chance, links her destiny with his. Brink has enormous range: he penetrates with seeming ease a dozen personalities, from poor black schoolteacher to pitiful white army recruit to coldly ambitious judge to sorrowing mother, so that the book is at once a psychological study of a country and an often breathtaking chase thriller. In a novel that aims so high, inevitably there are flaws: the style occasionally becomes ponderous, the personality sketches sometimes reduce the tension, and the people in the Organization are almost inhumanly self-controlled and noble. Still, the thoroughness with which the South African psyche is explored and the high intelligence and empathy with which the nature of terrorism is dissected combine to create a memorable political panorama. Most of the book was clearly written in the height of anti-apartheid passion, and the rather lame closing pages, in which Landman wonders whether all the agony was necessary in view of the current rapprochement, are inevitably anticlimactic. But Brink has risen splendidly to the challenge of a major theme, and his book will stand as a salutary reminder of a terrible time.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Andre Brink
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