Top positive review
on 21 March 2015
Nelson Mandela was a legend. He was a man worthy of iconic status. I really wish that the book ‘Invictus’ by John Carlin was memorable to me for the right reasons, but it was not.
I would regard this book as a credible source of reference for historical or political matters during that era. But it did not read like a novel to me.
So why did I think ‘Invictus’ the book was so dreadful? There you have it my review summed up and I’ve barely begun to explain.
All the ingredients to produce an incredible inspiring novel were there just waiting to be utilised and wonderfully woven to produce a truly inspiring novel, but this is not it! I felt like I was reading a scattered scrambling of events which happened during those turbulent years.
These events were extremely important culminating in Mandela’s true genius coming to the fore with him finding a passage to solidarity despite impossible odds.
Nelson Mandela was ‘The Most Famous, Least Known Prisoner In The World’. He sought to rectify the humongous injustice where 50,000 white farmers owned 12 times as much arable land as 14 million black people. He rose above such terminology as Kaffir. Nelson Mandela’s incredible insight into the human condition enabled him to draw many masterful conclusions:
DRAMA WORKS ON THE PREMISE OF A SHARED HUMANITY WITH THE PROTAGONISTS!
Quotes like this one from ‘Invictus’ make me very glad that I decided to persevere with this book. I believe if Nelson Mandela had actually written this work himself the magical magnetism of Mandela would have manifested itself. I have no doubt that the film was amazing but that was an entirely different use of medium in the telling of his story.
I have learnt the back round to that all important rugby game in June 1995 and how Mandela harnessed the passion of a nation to get behind the Springboks and in so doing unbelievably united enemy with enemy. I felt that John Carlin only began to write with true ‘writer’s spirit’ in the final two chapters of this book. In these chapters I could identify the true potential of a monumentally gripping novel.
So to sum up, I learnt a lot about Nelson Mandela and Apartheid and the strength of the human spirit. The book was not what I would call an engaging or enjoyable read but it is an important piece of work which gives valuable information in to what went on behind the scenes in one of our species’ greatest productions.
Reading ‘Invictus’ by John Carlin inspired me to write the following in memory of a truly inspiring man; Nelson Mandela:
You burnt you pass book, they swamped those blood stains.
For 27 years they held you in chains.
As leader of the discerning ANC
A reader of learning how great you proved to be.
Restrained from Winnie and Zenani your daughter
Refrained from revenge. You walked on water!
In a country so parched a non freedom zone
Head high you marched; you let them atone.
You glimpsed their souls those incarcerators of You
Released the hand of friendship, paved paths to redemption new.
A highly trained athelete. Black and White game played out like chess
Your wily ways obsolete eyes bright; embracing enslaver’s caress.
To COETSEE, BARNARD BOTHA AND KLERK
ONE TEAM ONE COUNTRY, Not so berserk!
To VILJOEN, VOKSFRONT, WIESE, PIENAAR
Guided, abided by South Africa’s Star.
To MORNE DU PLESSIS and JOHN REINDERS too
EDDIE VON MALTITZ, now smiles BISHOP TUTU.
Such faith in your tormentors
Your ancestors Apartheid scorned
Yet You banished all ‘resenters’
The SPRINGBOK’S SYMBOL soon adorned.
Your very own torso, you wore symbolic slave
Incredible, Inspiring, None more so
Than MANDELA THE BRAVE!
E O’C 2015