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James Whyle's Reviews

Reviews of James’s Work

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Apr.02.2014
Published by Daily News
Whyle... transforms written history into literature. Where the report gives sketchy outlines, he reimagines this as the war of people against nature, and of people against one...
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Mar.25.2014
Published by Mail & Guardian
This interface of white people and the Xhosa seems to be Whyle’s current and enduring fascination, and he renders it pared down to the essentials, in measured and beautiful prose...
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Jan.28.2014
Published by Times Live
In other hands these encounters between Europe and Africa would be lousy with meaning and allegory and retrospective wisdom, but there are no morals here. Everything is an...
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Jan.11.2014
Published by The Saturday Star
This is a slim little book, but the terse economy of the prose propels you into its relentless rhythm from the start. James Whyle has the gift of conveying pictures and emotions...
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Dec.02.2013
Published by Witness
"It is fascinating to read James Whyle's fictionalized account of the Grosvenor wreck... it contains within its less than 150 pages a great deal of food for thought."
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May.02.2013
Published by AfricaBookClub.com
By any account, to entitle a début novel The Book of War can seem presumptuous. Yet, the book (published by Jacana Media in 2012) brilliantly lives up to the promise of its...
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Nov.25.2012
Published by City Press
It is an antidote to the Wilbur Smith way of doing things. Actually, it is to the historical novel what David Lynch was to the TV drama. Yet Whyle never employs the mystical,...
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Jul.18.2012
Published by The Witness
"Candid, compelling, at times engagingly droll and written with a subtlety that packs powerful effects into simple-seeming prose, Whyle's book is a triumphant mix of evocative...
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May.25.2012
Published by Mail & Guardian
"One is thrown ... into the heart of the action, in a state of dread and fascination induced by the dire events, the ­pristine setting and the perfection of the writing."
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May.14.2012
Published by Pretoria News
"The Book of War is a stunning debut novel, well written and... powerfully disturbing."
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May.08.2012
Published by Times Live
  IF YOU READ ONE BOOK THIS WEEK 'The Book of War', by James Whyle (Jacana), R140 A BRILLIANT, unforgettable debut. Steeped in carnage, Whyle's poetic revision of the Eastern...
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Nov.30.2003
Published by Friends of Radio 3
"The contrasts between black and white are understated: an old world and a new; the enterprising Rejoice has more to him than the prosaic Warren; the intelligent, thoughtful...