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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE MARQUIS OF MOOIKLOOF (article first published : 2006-06-23)

The Marquis of Mooikloof by Sean O’Toole is a collection of eleven short stories by a Johannesburg-based journalist who has clearly used his personal experience to provide the detailed and authentic South African town and country settings for his tales.

He has a gift for fresh, easy, highly readable narrative and (unlike so many writers today) he is concise; most of his stories are no more than a dozen pages long.

His themes are right up to date: Robert Mugabe. Nelson Mandela, the lottery, preparing for a presidential occasion in Malawi. This is not a political book, but it provides a wry commentary on many aspects of life in Southern Africa today, with an implied emphasis on the correct values. The observation is sharp but not abrasive.

This is a good book to dip into or to take on holiday. I enjoyed all Mr O’Toole’s stories, and I think many other people will, too.

The Marquis of Mooikloof is published by Double Storey and retails at R110. - Michael Green




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