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The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda
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The Whale Caller

by Zakes Mda

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This was a treat! The Whale Caller is passionate about the whales that periodically visit the waters of the small coastal town of Hermanus, where he blows his kelp horn for them. He is especially enamoured of Sharisa, a female southern right, who responds to his call and rewards him by dancing to his music, with him, for hours on end.

Saluni, the feisty village drunk, is equally passionate about the Whale Caller. She follows him around and makes no secret of her adoration for him. Being of subtle disposition, he is regularly embarrassed and scandalised by her attention. She couldn’t be more different to him. She is a free spirit who loves life, laughter and living; he is quiet, cautious, and patiently content with his lot.

"Saluni was made to be recklessly happy. She has no cares in the world,” and is, “A glorious celebrant of worldliness.” Her physical make-up is colourful: Her manicured nails are red. She always wears a fawn pure-wool coat over a green taffeta dress, with red pencil-heeled shoes (which she often has to remove, when inebriated), black fishnet stockings, a long black cigarette holder with a shock of red hair to complete the picture.

As a relationship slowly develops between the two, we become steeped in an unforgettable love triangle comprising a gentle man lost in his adoration of a whale, a whale who seems to love him in return, and a seriously enamoured woman who will stop at nothing to have the man she loves completely to herself.

This was a wonderfully entertaining read! It is naughty, playful and sometimes totally irreverent. ( )
  akeela | Feb 10, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312425872, Paperback)

As Zakes Mda's fifth novel opens, the seaside village of Hermanus is overrun with whale-watchers--foreign tourists determined to see whales in their natural habitat. But when the tourists have gone home, the whale caller lingers at the shoreline, wooing a whale he has named Sharisha with cries from a kelp horn. When Sharisha fails to appear for weeks on end, the whale caller frets like a jealous lover--oblivious to the fact that the town drunk, Saluni, a woman who wears a silk dress and red stiletto heels, is infatuated with him.
 
The two misfits eventually fall in love. But each of them is ill equipped for romance, and their relationship suggests, in the words of The Washington Post, that "the deeper, darker concern here is not so much the fragility of love, but the fragility of life itself when one surrenders wholly to the foolish heart."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:55 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Charts a tender, funny romance between the "Whale Caller" of a small South African coastal village and the town drunk, Saluni.

» see all 2 descriptions

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