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Read á PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ê André BrinkThis was a powerful book As we observe Ben s many conversations and the others responses we see how society rationalizes bad behavior and the commitment to the status o The arguments of let the government servants do their job This isn t your concern so let those who are involved solve it Is paramount to supporting the wrong behaviors but his arguments have little impact on the surface Unfortunately for Ben his persistence is noticed at the highest levels his actions lead to very profound conseuences in all aspects of his life Andre Brink was a genius He did such a fabulous job I can t help but feel this actually was based on a true story but fictionalized It was profound in delivery and the print so dense this is not a casual read I felt that one reading didn t not deliver the full depth of the message there in I want to return to it and suck out the marrow of the message This book serves as a warning to societies as a whole I see so many parallels in American society even today and I won t hesitate to recommend this to anyone who reads to be challenged both about the way they interact with their own little world and also seek to The Tycoons Blackmailed Mistress (Australian Millionaires understand human nature and its energy to remain stable no matter what the cost This is probably Brink s most deservedly famous book and I have been wanting to read since reading Rumours Of Rain last year It is an impassioned and often brutal account of what happens when an ordinary manestions an authoritarian state in this case the apartheid South Africa of the 70sBen Du Toit is an ordinary Afrikaner school history teacher He becomes involved when the first son of his school s caretaker a boy who has worked for Ben s family dies while being held by the security police The caretaker Gordon Ngubene is The Hearts Voice unable to accept the official explanation and involves Ben in his investigations Gordon is arrested and also dies in custody and the police claim that he hanged himselfThe book follows Ben s dogged pursuit of the truth and how the apparatus of the state frustrates itltimately murderously and the way this affects Ben s friends and families There is a framing device of a prologue and epilogue which introduce the ghost writer an old college friend and writer of cheap romantic fiction with whom Ben has entrusted the notes he has kept hiddenBrink is very strong on the mechanisms and compromises that make ordinary people complicit with the excesses of the state but like his hero Ben he never entirely loses hope that the estioning will eventually bring change and in the light of what happened over the next decade in South Africa this seems very prescient It has long been my habit to start a book by looking at the cover giving than a glance at the copyright page skimming the acknowledgements and scanning the table of contents before beginning the actual book Surprisingly the copyright page occasionally offers something I might not find elsewhere This book offered than the sual fiction disclaimer Nothing in this novel has been invented and the climate history and circumstances from which it arises are those of South Africa today But separate events and people have been recast in the context of a novel in which they exist as fiction only It is not the surface reality that is important but the patterns and relationships The Spaniards Stolen Bride (Mills Boon Modern) (Mills Boon Modern) (Brides of Innocence, Book 2) underneath that surface Therefore all resemblance between the characters and incidents in this book and people and situations outside is strictly coincidentalFirst published in 1979 this is a story of Apartheid in South Africa How can one not have known of the systematic racial discrimination of the time We outsiders knew it was wrong but did we actually realize its full extent No I did not see the movie made from this bookThe novel begins with a foreword by a fictional author At least I thought it was fictional but perhaps it was in fact Andr Brink inserting himself into the novel He tells how he knew Ben du Toit in school had not seen him for many years and then was contacted by du Toit He says after du Toit was killed in a hit and run accident at 11pm at night The author is in receipt of du Toit s papers notes diaries There is also a short epilogue where the fictional authorBrink says he wrote the novel so no one could say he didn t knowThe story itself begins at approximately the time of the Sowetoprising A young man in whom du Toit had taken a special interest was involved "Jonathan Ngubene Goes Missing And "Ngubene goes missing and estions are asked of the Special Branch they say they know nothing Then rumors begin to surface I don t see how it is possible for any reader to lay this asideThis is a compelling story especially due to the copyright disclaimer Nothing in this novel has been
Invented It Is Made Compelling By The Way Brink TellsIt is made compelling by the way Brink tells his writing Normally I would bristle at sentence fragments There are only two or three instances where Brink inserts them into the prose and I chose to think of them as impressionism in the same way a painter does Constables loitering on the pavement with deliberate idleness Cypresses and aloes A hospital atmosphere inside Stern corridors open doors revealing men writing at desks in small offices shut doors blank wallsMost of this is written in third person limited from the point of view of Ben du Toit But there was one place where Brink switches to second person It is very iet in the office There are steel bars in front of the window It hits you in the solar plexus Suddenly you realise that the friendly chap with the curly hair and the safari suit hasn t turned a page in his magazine since you arrived And you start wondering your neck itching about the thin man in the checkered jacket behind your backFinally Brink presents some diary or journal entries written by du Toit These of course are in the first person In another author s hands these changes would be annoying but here it is done masterfully I could not have been aligned with du Toit even though the narrator was male rather than femaleIt is possible this is the best of Brink but a GR member from South Africa has pointed me to others I look forward to those titles and
others by this author may give 5 star ratings freely than many and this certainly belongs on my 5 star read shelf I think it also belongs on my top 10 reads of all time The Philippines also had its dry white season A long dry white season almost 14 years from the time the then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972 The Playboys Virgin (Australian Playboys up to the time he was deposed in a People Power revolution in 1986it is a dry white seasondark leaves don t last their brief lives dry outand with a broken heart they dive down gently headed for the earthnot even bleedingit is a dry white season brotheronly the trees know the pain as they still stand erectdry like steel their branches dry like wireindeed it is a dry white seasonbut seasons come to passMongane Wally SeroteIf freedom may be compared to the life giving rain then that period in my country s history was a long drawn out drought RadioTV stations and newspapers were closed down journalists and people critical of the government were jailed without charges congress was abolished and the courts were made inutile by presidential decrees The exercise of civil liberties were curtailed by these of force money intimidation and cunning There were a lot of disappearances and summary executions during Esburg in a dark time of intolerance and state sanctioned apartheid A simple apolitical man he believes in the essential fairness of the South African government and its policies The Creed Legacy (Montana Creeds, until the sudden arrest and subseuent suicide of a black janitor from Du Toit's school Haunted by newestion. Ben du Toit it is me it is you Ben teaches the historyHis life is well organised between the school the church and his family He has nothing of a revolutionary he is an average Afrikaner And then his life is going to disrupt The son of his gardener an intelligent boy was arrested during a protest march He dies in prison His father inuires because he wants to know the truth He will be also arrested and will die in prison For Ben it is nbearable He wants to knowThe genius of Brink is to have chosen as hero an ordinary man Ben lives the apartheid without that asking any problem He does not contest the State He only wants to know with some stubbornness and naivity what did happened He will be crushedThe book was interdict in South Africa and is appeared in London in 1980 It had a considerable repercussion It made give s a live vision of apartheid from the interior in its daily banalityBrink is a little forgotten today I wanted just to pay tribute to him for his role as eveillor of conscience I appreciated this book a lot when I read it for a writing course in college The second time around almost seven years later I found it to be sometimes tiresome and often predictable I have a terrible memory by the way so it s being predictable is the not the result of my ability to remember what was going to happen Written during the 1970s this was certainly an important book for Apartheid South Africa That said the dialogue was often painfully weak A lot of one has to blah blah blah so that one can blah blah blah doesn t one Bad translation I don t know I also found some of the characters to be clich d or The Millionaires Seductive Revenge (Australian Millionaires, unrealistic I was disappointed that I couldn t capture whatever it was that prompted me to keep this book long after my writing course was over so that I could read it again I was introduced to the dream and nightmare that was South Africa around the same time A Dry White Season was published 1979 I was ten a 5th grader in an isolated rural western Washington town Perhaps it wasn t a coincidence for A Dry White Season was a bestsellerpon publication in the United States but I recall our class watching a cartoon film of black African children each drawn with tight black curls and toasted almond skin holding hands and singing as they paraded through streets made of simple gray lines The words they sang never left me We are marching to Pretoria We are marching to Pretoria Pretoria Pretoria We are marching to Pretoria Pretoria Hooorah Of course it would be years decades before the irony of those lyrics hit me What that film was why it was shown in our classroom why we learned the lyrics to British military marching song or a Boer independence marching song or an American Civil War marching song for all are claimed as the song s origins are mysteries never to be solved I can only assume my teacher hopped on the same bus as The Weavers who sang the song for years without bothering to learn what it was about and once they did turned it into a protest song But of course it s easy to protest another country s political tyranny with folk songs from thousands of miles distant when it isn t your life on the edge when you don t risk family job property or your life to stand The Drifter up and do the right thing For Ben Du Toit a white schoolteacher in Johannesburg doing the right thing never occurred to himntil suddenly it became the reason for his existence As this story Up Close and Personal unfolds in the late 1970s apartheid is the accepted way of life Blacks are segregated in township ghettos a condition Afrikaners and other white South Africans treat with reactions ranging from mild concern to dogmatic approval But nearly all are oblivious to the effect racial segregation injustice and abuse has on the human beings who clean their homes tend their gardens and who are disappeared by the authorities for crimes real and mostly imagined It isn tntil Gordon a janitor at Ben s school pleads for his help in locating Gordon s missing son that Ben wakes The Ice Maidens Sheikh (Sons of the Desert up to the reality around him Ben follows protocol solicits an attorney and restricts himself to thesual channels of inuiry At least in the beginning When Gordon is *DETAINED BY THE POLICE BEN IS DRAWN INTO A *by the police Ben is drawn into a darker drama beyond the borders of his reasonable tidy life This is a political story Ben remains something of a cipher a mild mannered oddly passive husband father teacher who is motivated not so much by affection or concern for Gordon and his family but by a blossoming sense of social justice In that this is not so much the story of a man but of a nation of men It is no surprise that A Dry White Season was banned in South Africa soon after its publication there for it is a strident call to action by a white man to his fellow white citizens It is an appeal to resist defy expose even when fighting back seems futile agains the might of a wealthy armed regime It is the shedding of ignorance innocence passivity It is a story of betrayals and loss of courage There are some awkward stylistic choices insertions of Ben s diary that seem to want to lend humanity and color to an otherwise monochromatic personality but the prose is refined and confident and careful I suirmed a few times at the drifting of Ben s narrative toward the White Savior but I wonder how much of that is my own baggage and an armchair reflection of this history nearly forty years later I am so glad to have read this book a classic indictment of apartheid that has not lost its power or relevance in a time when race dominates our national conversation and international imperatives I m not going to dissect the story per se what I found most significant in this critical look is the man vs man dynamic The story takes place at the beginning of the black prising in the various black townships in S Africa around 1970 s in Soweto Ben Du Toit is a school teacher who is angered when someone he was close to Gordon the janitor at his school approaches him to free his son Jonathan from police custody for a riot in the ghetto Ben becomes very involved when thingsPerhaps Others By This Author
from bad to worse for Soon Gordon is in prison as well Ben s efforts aren t welcome and much pressure ensues from every direction Ben is challenged for siding with the blacks a very non Afrikaner attitude In fact many black people don t want him around helping with their cause because he is white Ben is in it for the long haul though he is repeatedly threatened stalked harassed and disparaged Most of "his family including his son in law and father in law both high level politicians "family including his son in law and father in law both high level politicians his lack of support of apartheid Ben never saw his actions as such He merely wanted innocent people to have their basic rights of working and living in their homes without fear of false accusations Even his wife and daughters feel he has become to extreme in his advocacy when the issues don t concern himBen is a symbol of righteousness and holiness There are several scenes where his church minister tries to reason with him that this isn t his battle and he is not the proper person to resolve the issues the blacks face Ben s response shows that the church is not doing what it should to stand for peace for all freedom for all loving thy neighbor as thy self and for his expressions he is treated as lost and nreasonable I liked how Brink poked at various systems in society and how they fail to adhere to their missions. As startling and powerful as when first published than two decades ago André Brink's classic novel A Dry White Season is an The Cowboys Valentine (Crooked Valley Ranch unflinching andnforgettable look at racial intolerance the human condition and the heavy price of moralityBen Du Toit is a white schoolteacher in suburban Johann. .TURN FROM BAD TO WORSE FOR
He era of this dictatorship A classmate of mine in college this guy who was always smiling suddenly disappeared in the middle of the semester He was a member of the left leaning group called the League of Filipino Students and was very fond of The Billionaires Unexpected Heir (Illegitimate Heirs uoting Marx I don t think he was a communist though At our age then 18 19 years old I do not believe anyone can be a real communist But everyone ofs even those with just a modicum of intelligence could then see the rainless sky and feel the heat of that long dry white season the press were essentially allowed to operate after a while but they were all controlled by cronies of the dictator except for a few newspaper publishers who were nevertheless harassed in all manners possible and had to content themselves with very limited sales TV stations were all controlled by them public rallies were always met by forcible dispersals Warrantless arrests continued and there were continuing disappearances and summary executions Why There is a conversation here between the principal protagonist named Ben a peace loving white teacher who decided to act when confronted with an injustice done to a black family by the Gestapo euivalent in that country then and another character Bruwer Ben asked Bruwer why all these are happening and why can t conflicts be resolved by peaceful dialogues instead of violence Bruwer Because it s a matter of power Naked power That s what brought them there and keeps them there And power has a way of becoming an end in itselfOnce you have your bank account in Switzerland and your farm in Paraguay and your villa in France and your contacts in Hamburg and Bonn and Tokyo once a flick of your wrist can decide the fate of others you need a very active conscience to start acting against your own interests And a conscience doesn t stand p to much heat or cold it s a delicate sort of plantBen Then it would be madness to hope for even the most paltry form of changeBruwer There are only two kinds of madness one should guard against Ben One is the belief that we can do everything The other is the belief that we can do nothingI am sure my classmate who disappeared did not suffer from this second type of madness It was probably I who did This novel by Andre Brink is set in South Africa pre Mandela during the repressive white minority rule And damn I could have written a book like this myself the same materials are available here except that of course madmen are lazy and can t write well Sometimes I love that I live nder a rock Because then I read things like this book only to find out a movie was made of it starring Donald Sutherland co starring Susan Sarandon and Marlon Brando Hello Rock I hope you re comfortable on top of meI sort of breezed through this book which is totally the author s fault because it was just that good I was invested the entire time Ben Du Toit is a white schoolteacher in Johannesburg during the Apartheid When a black friend comes to him for help he s hesitant because he s become rather accustomed to keeping his nose out of trouble and not getting wrapped The Change in Di Navarras Plan up in all the racial divides But as he starts investigating the story a bit he realizes that the South African government isn t as honest as he thought it wasEverything onesed to take for granted with so much certainty that one never even bothered to enuire about it now turns out to be illusion Your certainties are proven lies And what happens if you start probing Must you learn a wholly new language firstHumanity Normally one Tender Love uses it as a synonym for compassion charity decency integrity He is such a human person Must one now go in search of an entirely different set of synonyms cruelty exploitationnscrupulousness or whateverp 161I found out about the movie after I read the book which is good because as much as I love Donald Sutherland I was glad not to have his face in my imagination as I read It s a story worth reading and absorbing and having a Hollywood image in my mind would have probably blown it for me I don t even think I want to see what Hollywood did with it on the big screen There s a trope in African American literary works set in the Jim Crow era namely you should have if you re black a white protector someone to turn to in time of need to vouch for your character someone to call you a good Negro This book set in the Apartheid Era South Africa Looks era South Africa looks the trope from another perspective this is a story of a white man Ben who sponsors a black boy s education The boy dies the reason is police brutality The white man cannot believe this could have happened he is shocked torn looks for a rational explanation When the boy s father decides to investigate is arrested broken teeth are found in his dirty laundry his wife received and the next thing we learn is that he hanged himself in his cell Ben feels he must find out what happened why it happened and how someone could do it rationalize it and systematically cover all institutional violence torture harassment blackmailWhat I find most compelling about the book is that Ben cannot stop He does literally all in his power to expose the evil of the system he was so far naware of to identify people responsible for the crimes and to find proofs of their guilt There is a nightmare aspect to it he wades deeper and deeper in and goes on because he cannot turn back He sees all kinds of corruption of the system but the corrupt system has very effective defense mechanismsThis novel was very very good Not a masterpiece but a powerfully written book on something of tremendous importance It is heavy but not gruesome much is thankfully left to the reader s imagination although this reader joined Amnesty International in the middle of their anti torture campaign in the early noughties and still remembers enough to connect most of the dots Very strongly recommended Najgorsze jest "e nie potrafi okre li ani nazwa przeciwnika Nie mog go "nie potrafi okre li ani nazwa przeciwnika Nie mog na pistolety Walczy ze mn nie cz owiek ani grupa ludzi ale rzecz co nieokre lone bezpostaciowe co niewidzialna wszechobecna pot ga kt ra czyta moje listy pods chuje moje rozmowy przez telefon szkoli ideologicznie moich koleg w nakr ca przeciwko mnie The Bridal Bed uczni w przecina opony samochodu maluje napisy na drzwiach strzela w okna wysy a paczki z bombami pot ga kt ra dzie i noc dzie i noc ledzi ka dy m j krok krzyje moje plany i stara si mnie zastraszy tocz c ze mn gr o regu ach wymy lonych i kapry nie zmienianych przez siebie sam It is ironic that while reading this account of defying prejudice I found myself prejudging the entire book based on the rather irrelevant and minor frame story at the beginning and worked myself p into such a fit of disdain that I very nearly abandoned this brave and important work by Andr BrinkBrink risked his own reputation and safety to speak out about prejudice and injustice in South Africa in the late 1970s A Dry White Season once the frame story is dispensed with tells of the battle waged by a singular man who goes against his own community the teachings of his church and even his country s justice system in order to follow a path dictated by his own conscience Andr Brink died recently and is said to have been disillusioned by post apartheid South Africa There are two kinds of madness one should guard against One is the belief that we can do everything The other is the belief that we can do nothing. S and desperate to believe that the man's death was a tragic accident Du Toit ndertakes an investigation into the terrible affair a The Lawman and the Lady uest for the truth that will have devastating conseuences for the teacher and his family as it draws him into a lethal morass of lies corruption and murder.