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The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991)

by Damon Galgut

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493429,729 (3.35)5
A year ago Patrick Winter, a young South African, was in Namibia completing his military service. Now, during the country's first free elections, Patrick is back. Back in the country he once defended and the place where he fell in love for the first and only time. With the country poised to change forever, Patrick is forced to revisit the past and climb the wall behind which he has sealed himself for so long.… (more)
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English (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (3)
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Beautifully written, as all his novels, this short one seems unfinished somehow, without a clear goal. The description of the young man's mental breakdown is terrifying. All the characters are portrayed well. I would like a follow-up of this story. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
An interesting story of returning from war after fighting for something you never believed in, and trying to find a true identity during the turbulent times during the end of Apartheid. Patrick is a young, white South African returning from war at the border between Namibia and Angola. He left for battle without an identity, clearly confused both politically and sexually, and returns scarred. He comes back to live with his newly divorced and sexually adventurous actress mother. Written from Patrick's POV, the story jumps between the current time, where he is traveling with his mother to celebrate the Namibian elections and to be with her black, freedom fighter, boyfriend, Godfrey, and Patrick's experiences during war. This interplay in the story allows the reader to understand why Patrick is so lost and emotionally scarred, and why his Mother is equally, though in a very different way, battling to find a new identity.

I personally don't like reading book reviews that simply summerize the plot, so I won't dive too deep into the story, but the book is a very interesting, and original addition to anyone's collection of South African literature. ( )
  getupkid10 | Jan 19, 2009 |
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A year ago Patrick Winter, a young South African, was in Namibia completing his military service. Now, during the country's first free elections, Patrick is back. Back in the country he once defended and the place where he fell in love for the first and only time. With the country poised to change forever, Patrick is forced to revisit the past and climb the wall behind which he has sealed himself for so long.

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