Leon has fled not only South Africa, but also Judaism and the gay scene, settling in London and marrying an English schoolteacher. Living on a diet of booze and drugs he finally meets another white South African and is forced into a world more wild than any he has ever known.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The final days of apartheid are the setting for the salvation of Leon, a determinedly nonheroic South African exile, in this ambitious third novel (Middlepost, 1989, etc.) from South African- born actor and writer Sher, now living in London. When the Soweto riots break out in 1976, Leon Lipschitz, heir to a shipping fortune, is in Britain on holiday. Gay and Jewish, Leon lives a life of dissolute luxury on generous allowances from his family. He drinks heavily, takes drugs, and has numerous sexual encounters, but an accidental meeting with anti-apartheid protester Angela, a British teacher, convinces him that he should leave South Africa--``The writing was on the wall back in S.A. and the writing said AMANDLA...black power, since I didn't fancy getting butchered in my bed, I slipped on my running shoes.'' In the early 80's, aware of the three A's at his heels--Apartheid, Anti-Semitism, and AIDS--Leon marries Angela as another form of escape, but increasingly he finds he can neither escape South Africa nor his homosexuality. A trip back is planned, but before the two leave, Leon meets the mysterious and handsome young Afrikaner Gertjie, who claims to have fled South Africa for political reasons. Back in South Africa, Leon finds his family and the country in the throes of painful change. Forced at last to assume some responsibility for others, Leon tries to help his aging father, whose associates are abandoning him. And in a mad drive across country in the family Rolls-Royce, Leon learns the truth about Gertjie and, for the first time, finds himself fighting rather than running away. Despite the politics, sex, drugs, and booze: an old-fashioned story of redemption, with a reluctant hero and a slew of credible characters. Slow to start but ultimately gripping. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Sher, South African by birth, is both an award-winning actor in Britain and the author of a well-received novel, Middlepost , and the nonfiction The Year of the King . His second novel is a mordantly witty but dangerously off-putting narrative about a thoroughly debauched character whose pursuit of pleasure has ironic consequences. Leon Lipschitz is a Jew from South Africa who lives in London on money that comes from his racist father's business. Despite his being more or less a "moffie" (homosexual), Leon has married a likable English teacher and social activist. He himself is far from appealing; he is corpulent, frequently in a drug or alcohol haze, and complacently self-indulgent. He speaks in a hilarious and unique mixture of Yiddish and Afrikaans, and spends most of his time either watching porn videos or in the hands of "escorts" hired by the hour for masturbatory amusements. Leon's downfall occurs when he suddenly develops a passionate attraction to a beautiful South African man called Gertjie, a relationship that leads to a Grand Guignol conclusion. As an allegory of South Africa's racial strife, the book is audacious and provocative. Sher's risk in portraying so vulgar a protagonist is not so successful, however. While the novel is fast-paced and darkly amusing, it is ultimately uninvolving, perhaps because it's hard to feel much for the characters.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140165525