The Water Creature

by Francois Bloemhof (Human & Rousseau) R84,95 ISBN: 9780798156912

 

This is apparently the third book in the Chillers series. 

 

Stephen and Alana are on their annual holiday in Blue Water Bay, near Port Elizabeth. They discover a creepy house at the edge of a cliff, and they notice a frightened woman on the beach. Then they hear the local residents talking about a mysterious sea animal. The two decide to find out what is really going on.

 

This book is so old-fashioned and out-dated that I felt as if I were trapped in a time warp. The book reads like an Enid Blyton adventure from the 1970s. It’s even set in a caravan park. I had no sense of the setting, no feeling for the characters and I did not find it to be ‘full of blood curdling surprises’.

 

The only 9-12 year old children I can imagine enjoying this book are those who have no electricity, no access to television, and no access to the Internet.

 

Sarah Campbell

1/5

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A Bosman Companion

by Craig Mackenzie & Tim Sandham (Human & Rosseau) ISBN 9780798152532

 

Herman Charles Bosman is one of South Africa’s best known authors and story tellers. His creation Oom Schalk Lourens, an old Boer farmer, is undoubtedly one of the best loved characters in South African literature.

 

A Bosman Companion covers all aspects of Bosman’s life and work in short, informative, alphabetically arranged entries.

 

This alphabet of Bosman’s life and times covers even the unseen drawings that he did which are so precious. Personal memories of how when he was late for Jeppe School, he told the teacher he had to chop wood first thing every morning.  Most of the boys came from middle class homes and laughed at his explanation. No matter where he was he was always the odd man out and yet he did so well in life.

 

However there is more than just Bosman here. The dictionary of South African words made me remember all sorts of sayings when I was growing up in the Free State. What a lot of hard work went into this wonderful book, along with insight into the character and great respect and love for his memory.

 

This should be in every Bosman collection. Craig MacKenzie edited 10 volumes of Bosman’s stories amongst many other works, and he and Tim Sandham a teacher, a TV writer a part time playwright, are the authors of this book.

 

Dee Andrew

5/5

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Dark Poppy’s Demise

by SA Partridge (Human and Rousseau) ISBN 978-0-7981-5544-1

 

Jenna is sweet sixteen and never been kissed.

 

She is moody and dramatic and gets her only solace from the adventures of her online persona Dark Poppy. Her family is a mess. Her crush started dating the popular girl at school. Typical High School Musical plotline, right?

 

Wrong. What starts out like a teenaged coming-of-age drama turns into a horror story that shocks one more because of the previously mundane plotline. In the technological age, people can maintain anonymity and create their own personas, but this story is intriguing because the online relationship goes offline; with shocking consequences.

 

This eerie tale is a realistic account of how the desperate need to be loved can be detrimental.

 

I highly recommend this third novel by Cape Town author, SA Partridge, who won the I am a Writer and MER Youth Prize 2008 awards for her previous work.

 

Amanda Blankfield

4/5

 

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