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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Cause?
Post apartheid South Africa was always going to be a challenge in massive social transition. Petty apartheid rules could be easily dismantled, but transiting from resistance to government for the ANC, reversing the huge inequalities of apartheid, bringing opportunity in education, economic enterprise, and challenging old prejudices remains a huge call. Nadine Gordimer...
Published 20 months ago by Geoff Crocker

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite read but I fully respect the author
I appreciate that Natalie Gordimer is a literary genius, Unfortunatley for me I struggled to get through this book and forced myself to read it rather than enjoyed reading it.
I found myself losing the thread many times and perhaps her style of writing is tough for me as a dyslexic, so would not blame the author for this..
The content is of course important and...
Published 15 months ago by V.


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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Cause?, 30 Mar 2013
This review is from: No Time Like the Present (Paperback)
Post apartheid South Africa was always going to be a challenge in massive social transition. Petty apartheid rules could be easily dismantled, but transiting from resistance to government for the ANC, reversing the huge inequalities of apartheid, bringing opportunity in education, economic enterprise, and challenging old prejudices remains a huge call. Nadine Gordimer captures this well.

Leadership is central to her thesis - the ANC generation of elder statesmen Mandela, Tambo, Sisulu and others brought dignity, gravitas and grace to the role and partially to South African society. The intellectual Mbeki quoted Yeats, denied AIDS, and became an irrelevance. Gordimer repeatedly lambasts Zuma as a political thug with his `machine gun' rally song and his supporters who will `kill for Zuma', who has avoided answering rape, fraud and corruption charges, who spends lavishly on his victory celebrations and personal life.

Social sin then continues unabated, simply transferred between protagonists. Now a black feudal elite indulges conspicuous consumption. South Africa is the world's most unequal society. Cape Town is the world's murder capital. Gordimer's captivating hypothesis is that where forced separation continues, even in the example she cites of gender separation at an all boys school, fascism rules OK.

Tribalism overcomes reason and justice. Jabu's father, Elias Siphiwe Gumede, a solid KwaZulu school headmaster and church elder, who during the Struggle supported her right to equal education and opportunity, now sides prejudicially with Zuma. Violence is endemic as in the violence against Jake, Wethu, and the millions of displaced Zimbabweans. Unemployment, sub-subsistence wages, shanty housing, inadequate education, prevail. The comrades of the Struggle against the apartheid regime retain their principles, but are relegated to the Suburb. Steve and Jabu are ready to emigrate.

Gordimer's syntax is distinctive and unusual - sometimes abrupt, and sometimes coming in long unpunctuated `stream of consciousness' sentences with vague references. This does convey atmosphere, concept, feel, and context well, even if you find yourself tripping over the detail at times. The story includes a myriad of absorbing sub plots. Alongside her social and political account she writes well too of human sexual intimacy, with an easy honest explicit style that explores how this bonds the one success (despite Steve's UK conference encounter) of racial integration she offers - Steve and Jabu themselves.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deep understanding of present day South Africa, 15 April 2013
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This review is from: No Time Like the Present (Paperback)
I deeply admire Nadine Gordimer and always have - I find her so insightful into both South African racial problems ( pre and post apartheid) and relationships period. However I do find in this book that her syntax is rather puzzling and have to re-read some sentences to understand them. But it is a fine book and well worth the time spent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite read but I fully respect the author, 21 Sep 2013
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This review is from: No Time Like the Present (Paperback)
I appreciate that Natalie Gordimer is a literary genius, Unfortunatley for me I struggled to get through this book and forced myself to read it rather than enjoyed reading it.
I found myself losing the thread many times and perhaps her style of writing is tough for me as a dyslexic, so would not blame the author for this..
The content is of course important and that's why this book is a valuable read, and it really gave me a sense of the struggles in South Africa.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars South African uses of language, 30 Jun 2013
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This review is from: No Time Like the Present (Paperback)
I can see that this is an important statement about the current situation in South Africa. It was interesting to me to note the effect of Dutch and some African lexical/grammatical features on Gordimer's use of English.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a curious read...., 1 April 2013
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This review is from: No Time Like the Present (Paperback)
My sister asked me to purchase this for her as another curious 'read'. I can't comment personally as she hasn't yet read it, but when she gets back to Italy, it will be one of many intriguing books she will get to grips with. Item arrived within time-scale and was well packaged.
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No Time Like the Present
No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer (Paperback - 14 Mar 2013)
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