by Peter Church (Mercury) ISBN 9781928230243
Leo is a down-on-his-luck, one-hit-wonder writer. He lives in Cape Town wherever he can find digs; usually in relation to his carnal conquest at the time. Leo’s friend, Jerome, is a wanna-be gangster, and Leo’s life is otherwise populated only by the women he sleeps with, and the memory of a girl who broke his heart. At the age of 48, Leo is trying to find both himself and the requisite word-count for a second novel.
When I first began reading Blue Cow Sky, it seemed I was in for a romp with a chauvinist jock and his indiscriminate sexploitation. Indeed this is “a comic novella of sexual proportions”, but there’s more to it than Leo getting laid. Leo’s true character and what he really yearns for emerge through the narrative of his sexcapades. I began to understand him and his motivation, and realised that Leo is actually far from a womaniser. This is also revealed subtly and poignantly in the book title.
I enjoyed this little book despite the fact that it initially stoked my feminist ire. It’s funny and familiar because it’s set in Cape Town, and all Leo’s women and his side-kick, Jerome, are fully-rounded characters.