Trencherman by Venter, E
Publisher: Scribe 2016
A powerful contemporary retelling of Heart of Darkness. One rainy night in Australia, Marlouw's sister phones with the request that he fetch her son 'from that bloody country'. And Marlouw, with his club foot and hardened spirit, believes it is his fate to carry out this instruction. Drenched in sweat after an ominous flight, his exodus takes him through a South Africa where poverty is rife, infrastructure has collapsed, AIDs has become widespread, and corruption reigns. He is told: 'the whites who've stayed on, stay because they're not able to leave'. Yet still he journeys deeper into the unknown - past the suffering masses alongside the road to the outer darkness of the rural areas. There are rumours that Koert is on the old family farm, now in the possession of the family's former workers. That there, guarded and isolated, he has built himself a powerful empire as the King of Meat. Here, on Ouplaas, at the end of Marlouw's terrible journey, the heart of terror is cut open ...