Best reads 2007: Janet van Eeden

2007-11-28 00:00

I’ve read three books which I couldn’t put down. The first was Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, a nail-biting deconstruction of a school shooting in the United States. This novel was especially absorbing as I’ve long been intrigued by the phenomenon of school shootings in the States. Picoult’s examination of a shy, sensitive child who is bullied until he turns into a calculating young man who has lost respect for the lives of those who hurt him is chillingly compelling.

I loved Bridget McNulty’s Strange Nervous Laughter. Set in a steamy, sticky Durban during one of the hottest summers ever, the world the characters inhabit is as real as the characters are quirky. McNulty uses magic realism to create metaphors of meaning which greatly enhance the read. Always surprising, constantly enchanting, this was one of my most enjoyable reads of the year.

Lastly, Sebastian Faulks’s novel, Eagleby, was deeply engrossing. Once again, the protagonist is an intriguing character with a bit of a problem. Eagleby has above average intelligence which ejects him from his working class background when he wins a scholarship to one of the classic English public schools. Unfortunately he too is bullied and he develops an unusual way of coping. Faulks has created a charismatic character who doesn’t quite lay all his cards on the table. It keeps you absorbed until the very last page.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.