"Buckingham Palace" District Six

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‘Buckingham Palace’, District Six, is one of the most essential books ever written in this country, in a sense that it keeps alive the spirit of South Africa’s most notorious but lively slumps, alive. The book is divided into three distinct segments: morning, afternoon and night. The mood as you will notice gets increasingly darker and serious in each segment.

The first segment is a quite enjoyable one and gives you a wonderful introduction into each of the characters and a rundown of the everyday happenings in their lives. They are surprisingly similar to us. The boys for example go to school, like we do, participate in rugby like we do and so forth. But then again they are made of tough stuff. The writer drives this point home continuously i.e. the jungle boys sister, Moena Lelik ( as she was known, since her cousin was also named Moena but was a beauty to behold) was ridiculed not only by her school counterparts but also her teacher, her brothers make sure they gave the teacher a little lesson of his own. Some things you may notice about the writers style, is that he is not one to make his own comments on character/incidents, non-opinionated. But rather he lets us formulate our own opinion. For example when he declares that Mary was a prostitute, when he tells of Pretty Boy always being able to obtain whatever he wanted at a bargain price. He also has an indirect rather suggestive way of saying things. For example he tells of how Mary’ school teachers health and reputation declined suddenly after he had helped her a few times privately with her reading. But by the background knowledge he gives you of Mary you know the reason why.

The second segment is also quite an interesting one, and takes place 5 years onwards. After being introduced to the likes of Zoot(the main character), whose credentials include poet(of a different kind), tap-dancer, ex-prisoner, caretaker, bouncer, handyman, leader, the likes of Pretty Boy, you will most certainly be hooked....
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