The Quarry Paperback – 12 May 2005
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I liked this novel a lot. It has all the vigour and raw honesty of The Good Doctor. --Doris Lessing
About the Author
Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963 and now lives in Cape Town. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was seventeen. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs and The Good Doctor.
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Top Customer Reviews
Damon Galgut has been short-listed twice for the Booker Prize and has also won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for The Good Doctor. He is noted for writing about Post-Apartheid South Africa and uses his position as a well-known writer to take a stand on human rights issues.
As I read The Quarry I felt that Galgut was using the fewest words possible - this is undecorated prose, matching the bleak landscape of pre-reformed South African townships. Into this landscape walks an unnamed man. He has been walking for days, living off the land and sleeping in ditches. Before long we learn that he is on the run and doesn't care where he is going, only that wherever it is, it is somewhere other than the place he is fleeing from.
The land he walks through seems to be a desolate place; neglected scrub-land, with scattered villages which have turned their backs on the world - and passing travellers. A car stops and a lift is offered, but who is in more danger, the driver of his new passenger? The sinister landscape adds to a sense of tension and before long a sexual approach is made, a terrible crime is committed and a body is hidden in a nearby quarry.
The scene now shifts to a coastal township where the people live in grinding poverty, subsisting on menial work and theft from visitors. A car can be stripped down overnight and a door left open will result in a house being ransacked. A church stands in the centre of town and a false preacher gathers a congregation around him while the local police chief begins to investigate a murder.Read more ›
Basically, if you like my review you'll love this book. If you dislike my review, you'll hate it.
The Quarry is extremely well written, words are used effectively and sparingly and we are told nothing unnecessary. Many questions remain unanswered, to us and to the main characters.
I'm glad I read it, but I won't be reading it again.
As they near the minister's destination, the car pulls over on some empty ground near a quarry. The pair share a couple of bottles of wine and some desultory conversation, and the minister encourages the man to give himself up to the authorities. When they get out of the car and walk to the quarry's edge, the minister makes sexual advances to the man (as ministers are wont to do) and the man reacts violently, killing the minister. He secretes the body in the quarry and eventually drives on to the town, intending to take on the minister's identity.
During the first night in the town, the car is burgled by two local brothers, Valentine and Small. They are petty thieves and also have a modest marijuana garden in the quarry. An assiduous policeman, Captain Mong, is determined to solve the burglary and closes in on the brothers, eventually capturing them as they burn some of the goods taken from the car. Police suspicions are further aroused by the presence of marijuana in the brothers' belongings. The captain's tenacity eventually leads to the dope garden in the quarry and then the dead body. Case solved, the captain assumes: clearly the two black brothers killed the man as well as committing the other crimes. The `minister' is not suspected - he is white after all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In excellent condition. A fantastic read - highly recomendedPublished 23 months ago by Fergus Cooper
Despite the good reviews of this book I found it very strange and rather worrying! I really enjoy psychological thrillers so I was surprised at my reaction to this book which just... Read morePublished on 31 Dec. 2013 by FJG
I enjoyed the Good Doctor and thought I'd give this a go. I hated it, but had to read to the end. I thought it was a nothing book, didnt get to know any of the characters and... Read morePublished on 4 Jun. 2013 by Susan Margaret Davies
It began well, but unravelled in the last quarter. Difficult to understand who was who. Possibly deep and meaningful, but I missed it.Published on 8 May 2013 by Venita Lockwood
Not my normal reading matter but I quite enjoyed following the ins and outs of the story. The characters were very believablePublished on 1 May 2013 by Sally Watson
I got around three quarters of the way through this before giving up on it. A very weak story, badly written, with unrealistic dialogue. Read morePublished on 17 April 2013 by Hemingway's Proofreader