Rumours Of Rain Paperback – 14 Mar 1994
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"A brilliant achievement" (The Times)
"Peter Carey, García Márquez, Solzhenitsyn: André Brink must be considered with that class of writer'" (The Guardian)
"As complex and powerful as the African continent itself" (Books and Bookmen)
A potent novel about a life in crisis on the scorched plains of South Africa by the Booker shortlisted laureate of African fiction, André Brink.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In a way Mynhardt's story can be seen as a metaphor for South Africa itself, the fierce Afrikaner protection of white rule and the implications for all South Africans and their relationship with the world.
Written entirely from Mynhardt's point of view, the numerous attempts by his best friend, Bernard, lover, Bea, and son Louis to give him insight into himself are all doomed to fail. We are left wondering what they all saw in Mynhardt that made him worth persevering with and yet in the process we are given the most wonderful understanding of them all.
This is an outstanding novel. Superb characterisation with an elegant multi-faceted plot set against a fascinating political backdrop. It is a spell-binding account of white South Africa. There are few writers who are as extraordinarily gifted as André Brink. This is as close to genius as it is possible to come.
Brink,a few years older than Coetzee has been writing for nearly 40 years and this one of his earlier novels is a tremendous work of angst,fear and honesty amid the stormclouds of mid 1970's South Africa. The narrator is no idealistic anti-apartheid campaigner, he is a true Afrikaner, he has made money had some fun. However,from a cold London hotel room he recalls the past decades, the incidents and the bad times that have befallen him and he starts to question who he is and what his country means to him.
This is no story of damascene conversions, Mynhardt suffers a little doubt but it his friends and his family who are his consience, he reacts to their doubts not his. Locations veer from the Eastern Cape in winter, to the crowded streets of Johannesburg. The narrative flits backwards and fowards with a hint of danger at every turn. War on the borders,internal strikes, the afrikaner flight from farms in the Eastern Cape, this isnt a smug narration of satisfied calm.
If you have any interest in South Africa this is well worth a read,in some sections as characters predict a fall of the white regime, you forget this was written in 1978, when the Apartheid regime had another 12 years left to run.
Rumours of Rain, written in 1978, is narrated by Martin Mynhardt, a successful Afrikaner businessman, who has profited from the regime and built himself a luxurious lifestyle. A visit to the farm of his family causes him to consider his views, to question what is really important to him and to evaluate his friends and relationships.
Many of the themes, Brink explores are recognisable from his other works. The legitimacy of outspoken opposition to an undemocratic regime is raised by Mynhardt's oldest friend Bernard and Brink comments on the injustices prevalent in South Africa in the 1970s.
As the novel progresses, we begin to realise that Mynhardt himself represents the views of the Afrikaner. He is a man so caught up in his quest for economic advancement that he is numb to the emotional needs of others and finds it easy to excuse his own immorality. He brushes aside his son's harrowing experiences of war and his mother's attachment to her farm. He feels embarrassed and awkward about friendships with blacks as he reaches for the successes demanded by his community. It is this short-sightedness made physical when he treads on his glasses, that traps him as a representative of a world that is threatened by demands for violent and massive change.
30 years after its publication, the novel is still remarkable for the brilliance of Brink's central conceit and the energy with which he communicates the South African landscape.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Characters well developed and their differing standpoints in regard to South African politics explained convincingly. Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2013 by L. C. Rahman
This book is definitely worth reading. It brilliantly creates tension and has that can't put down feel. Read morePublished on 25 April 2011 by Leone