It is an increasing problem in countries where people make use of the modern ways of communications. Theft of identity. We hear about victims who lose a lot of money, who get into problems with the police, who feel they have lost control of their life.

In this book by the South African writer Damon Galgut we encounter a case of identity theft. The victim is a wayward pastor who is on his way to new posting in a rural church. On his way to his new place of work this single man takes on board a hitchhiker, who is heading into the same direction. 

With this encounter we are drawn into a carefully crafted story of a life lost and a life gained. The new pastor (is he really the new pastor?) starts his work in this old church and he attracts many people to his church. 

We also meet Mong, a local police-inspector, who had met the couple in a raodside café. He digs into the identity of the pastor and follows his steps and talks to him in a friendly way, to find out more.

The book is written with clarity, it is very clear, but the longer I read the more I realized that this is a deception.  The clarity led me on winding roads, to backyards, and slums and churches and fields and a quarry. It became clear to me that the clarity describes a mystery, is a mystery. When I travelled on the roads written by Galgut I could not relax for one moment, I had to be on top of the story, otherwise it slipped away. It is clear and it is a mystery.

A job well done by Damon Galgut. 

Damon Galgut – The Quarry – 1995

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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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