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Tsotsi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    There is a South African novel by Athol Fugard and its called Tsotsi. This is the kind of book a teen or young adult would enjoy because of the action and drama. I love the teen drama genre and believe me this book is full of it. In the novel the main character Tsotsi 'which in Afrikaans literally means hoodlum' is a fierce and merciless leader of a gang. Tsotsi does not know anything about his past he has been on his own in the streets since he could remember. Tsotsi does not know his real name, birthday, or birth parents. To escape the ghetto he acts tough and silent, until he runs away. During his escape he runs into a young girl and he spots her abandoning her baby. At that moment Tsotsi must make a decision, take the baby or leave him like he was left. Tsotsi takes the baby and nurtures it, away from his gang friends. I believe that Tsotsi would do just as any other considerate human being. In the outside, Tsotsi looks and seems like a guy you really don¿t want to mess with. But as you progress in the novel you begin to realize that Tsotsi is not that inconsiderate. One example of this, other than him adopting the baby is one of his new gang members Boston. One day after a heist, the gang went to Lalas Place, a small town pub. Boston started to ask Tsotsi if he had any dreams or had feelings. Huge mistake, because the one rule Tsotsi has everyone obey is nobody asks any questions about his personal life. They get into a fistfight and Boston¿s eye gets infected because his glasses cut into his eye. Feeling bad about what he¿d done, he decides to take care of Boston until he recovers. The setting in this novel takes place in the slums of Johannesburg, South Africa. I think the way the author describes the slums is very real and personal. Athol Fugard was born and raised in the slums of Johannesburg, and from what I read it sounds like a very tough neighborhood. I think that Athol Fugard did an exceptional job writing this book. I really enjoyed the quick but realistic settings he wrote. I guess I don¿t like to read one and half pages just describing mountain scenery. I disliked the way the author wrote the point of view. I believe that if Tsotsi were written in first person it would have been a little bit better to understand. Throughout the entire novel the point of view would sort of change. I know what you¿re thinking, that¿s crazy how are you supposed to keep up with that. Well, Fugard keeps his book neat and organized so you don¿t get confused. But I still have to keep reminding myself that the book switches character point of view. I really recommend this book, especially to teens that are in the middle of trying to find themselves and are literally fighting to survive. One thing you must know about this novel is that it is written in a South African English dialect. It is sometimes hard to figure out what he is trying to say but other than that good job Athol Fugard.

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