BOOK REVIEW: THE TRACK, Katy Bauer (Jacana, R143)

If you liked Patrick Suskind’s cult book Perfume you will love this. Each sentence in Katy Bauer’s debut novel The Track is atreat; tune out for a moment and you’ll miss a brilliantly important detail. Set alongside a railway track in the turn-of-the-century Klein Karoo, the book reflects small-town antics and the predic-table ‘isms’ of class, gender and race. But it’s as fresh as anything to come out of SA – and not for one moment pretentious or over-tly political. In a relatively short space we bear witness to the humour and tragedy that is the human condition, and are drawn in by the characters, who are at once despicable, pitful and hilar-ous, but never one-dimensional. Bauer has succeeded where most others have not: she has written an accesible, intelligent, imagi-native book that deserves an international audience.

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