Top positive review
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The Spirit of Africa
on 2 April 2008
I just loved the whole feel of the African Continent that is hovering barely below the surface of this book. I felt the superstitious beliefs of the people that led them to adopt a small boy as a tribal chief and follow his boxing prowess throughout the years.
We meet Peekay at the age of 5 when his mother is admitted to hospital after a breakdown and he is sent to boarding school. As the youngest by 2 years and the only Rooineck (British South African), he gets a really rough time, but it paves the way for the person he is to become. He becomes adept at blending into the background and begins his life search for 'the power of one' - the strength that keeps him one step ahead of his tormentors and results in a fierce determination to learn to box.
As we follow him through his school years he meets some very unusual and influential people, all of whom help to map his character and develop him into a rather unbelievable yet charismatic all-rounder.
I would have dropped a point for these super-man qualities, but the book was a gem in spite of this.
I would never have read this if it hadn't been chosen as a (rather long!) book group read and I am so pleased I did. At the end I felt there was need for a sequel and it seems that one was written. Tandia is the story of an African woman who meets Peekay after he leaves us in the copper mines. At 920 pages it's a huge tome, but I'll certainly keep my eyes open for it.