Karoo Dusk

In the style of a modern western, Johan Vlok Louw’s South Africa novel, Karoo Dusk, is filled with youth, cars and guns.
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Title: Karoo Dusk
Author: Johan Vlok Louw
Publisher: Random House Struik
Imprint: Umuzi
Cape Town, South Africa 2014
ISBN 9781415206805 / ISBN 978-1-41520-680-5
Softcover, 13 x 21 cm, 240 pages


The Karoo: I wake up, flinch, sun. We're in Pa's Ford Ranger on National Road Number One, slow-snaking flat, low-bushed country with rocky outcrops, pale-red sandy patches. Dream-heaving. 'How far?' I ask from the back seat. 'Not far.' 'How's Ma?' He looks over, says, 'Out.' I close my eyes again, try to sleep. Opening them, we're on top of a bridge over railway lines with a town spread out left amid tree plumes. Tall church steeple. We level out and slow down for speed cameras and traffic cops parked in little Opel Corsas. To the left is a clearing leading off to a vast truck stop. A red-on-chrome Peterbilt stands idling. I see a big fat guy in blue overalls leaned back against a tow truck. SAAYMAN PANEL AND SPRAY on the door. I take notice. We pass ugly little brick houses with zinc outbuildings and sad sagging fences, feet-flattened red earth. Moms with kiddies walking. A scattering of pyramid-roofed factories vibracreted into busy squares. Over there a flash of lime-green wall with a black dog lying down lazily in front of it. Old cars on concrete blocks, wooden supports - stripped. [...]

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