Magenta (Paperback), by Denis Beckett
Bart Dunn is your average South African white guy, distraught at crime and general bungling. But he also holds a rogue view he sees up-sides to Africa, not just the sunshine and the wonderful vegetation, but the human factor. As Bart rollercoasters through the highs and lows of everyday life, South African style, he is convinced there is a way, somewhere, to grow the highs and shrink the lows. The trail propels him past the wrong end of various gunbarrels, the clutches of a right-wing rebel army, reluctant godfatherhood to a mixed-up teenager with an honor-grudge, and the alluring ankles of the woman he'd never dreamed he could dream of. The leads he has been looking for finally take shape when he meets a shantytown visionary. Bart remains skeptical. Everyone knows Africa needs a miracle. Who is this squatter-shack savant to claim that the morass is just an error, from which the next-phase of human advance will emerge? He must be wrong; but where, exactly, is the flaw in his startlingly simple recipe? Magenta is a utopian thriller the likes of which you are guaranteed never to have encountered before. Beckett's formidable intelligence, deep love for his continent, and impeccable ear for 'Seffricanese' will have you laughing, gasping, and wincing in equal measure.
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