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Stealing Water: A Secret Life in an African City Hardcover – 6 Mar 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340936622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340936627
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 22.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,251,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The greatest memoir to come out of white Africa since Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart - it reads like Angela's Ashes rewritten by Nick Hornby under a baking Johannesburg sun . . . told with warmth, humanity and humour to burn. (Tony Parsons)

An extraordinary account of childhood in a baroque South Africa, peopled with a vast, positively Dickensian cast of characters - never sentimental, extremely honest and, I found, quite unputdownable. (Emma Thompson)

A truthful story brilliantly told - both funny and moving. I often had to lay the book aside to recover from laughter . . . Tim Ecott cleverly captures the feeling of an extraordinary life. (Lynne Reid Banks)

'Tim Ecott's story of growing up in Ireland and Africa is both haunting and funny. He writes with compassion and honesty to give us a truly memorable account of an extraordinary upbringing.' (Fergal Keane)

Stealing Water is a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of poor-white family life in the twilight of apartheid. (Richard E. Grant)

'the narrative crackles and fizzles along.' (Irish Times)

There are belly laughs enough, and some serious criminality to boot, but Ecott's outstanding talent as an author is for pathos. His mother's scorn of logic, fate and the laws of probability, carrying on her shoulders a whole world of worry, debt, misfortune and illness, and all her family's fortunes, moved me more than once to tears. (Sunday Times)

Book Description

A memoir of an extraordinary family unexpectedly poor and forced to live on their wits amidst 1970s South African affluence, Tim Ecott's story is at times poignant, funny, affecting and moving. It's also more than a little bizarre.

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16 September 2014
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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20 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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2 June 2008
Format: Hardcover
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16 August 2008
Format: Hardcover
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11 May 2009
Format: Paperback
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23 February 2009
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31 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
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28 February 2009
Format: Paperback
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