On a lonely stretch of road a nameless man commits a murder. The victim is a religious minister on his way to take up a post in a nearby town. The murderer decides to steal the dead man's identity only to discover that one of his first duties as the new minister is to bury a body that has just been found out near the quarry...Captain Mong, the ...
On a lonely stretch of road a nameless man commits a murder. The victim is a religious minister on his way to take up a post in a nearby town. The murderer decides to steal the dead man's identity only to discover that one of his first duties as the new minister is to bury a body that has just been found out near the quarry...Captain Mong, the head of the local police takes a close interest in the minister's work, although there is evidence linking young petty criminals to the crime. Mong knows it is the new minister who is guilty. But he bides his time, watching, listening, slowly circling his prey. Building to a climax that is almost too much to bear with the town's church ablaze, the Captain is compelled to pursue the murderer across the veldt, while his exhausted quarry struggles to make good his escape. In The Quarry, Galgut's tender prose combines with the power of myth to create a devastating drama, alive with tension.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-29 In a bleak morality tale about a fugitive from justice, Galgut (The Good Doctor) again demonstrates his flair for charting the vicissitudes of human despair in modern-day South Africa. After the unnamed, near-starving protagonist is picked up by a minister traveling to his next church post, he repays the holy man's generosity by murdering him. The desperado quietly slips into the minister's role and tries to assimilate into mainstream society, but his misdeeds continue to dog his every move. If Galgut's concise prose is nearly leached of emotion, it certainly sets the scene: "There was a film of dust on everything in the car as though it had been standing there for years. He stared ahead through the windscreen. There were the corpses of beetles shattered on the glass and their legs and feelers were composed in attitudes of violent expiry." With increasingly stomach-tightening intensity, Galgut chronicles his troubled protagonist's struggles to evade capture under the ever-watchful eye of the authorities in his new town. The suspenseful narrative never strays from the dreary force of its understated character development ("He reached out with his filthy, his bloody hands and began to eat without looking at them"). As the story builds to a climax, Galgut heightens the book's emotional power with tense one-page chapters until justice-cosmic justice, in this case-comes to call. Agent, Ira Silverberg, at Donadio & Olson. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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