Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Quarry

Title: The Quarry

Author: Damon Galgut

Number of pages: 169

Started: 3 November 2010

Finished: 3 November 2010

Opening words:

Then he came out of the grass at the side of the road and stood without moving. There were blisters on his feet that had come from walking and blisters in his mouth that had come from nothing, except his silence perhaps, and bristles like glass on his chin.

Plot summary:

On a lonely stretch of road a man picks up a hitchhiker. The driver is a minister on his way to a new congregation in an isolated village and the passenger is a nameless fugitive from justice. When the minister realizes this, and confronts his passenger as they are overlooking an empty quarry, the fugitive kills him and assumes his vestments and identity, only to discover that one of his first duties as the new minister is to bury the body of his victim. Despite hints that two local petty criminals may be responsible, the local police chief is watching the new minister, and as the two play a tense game of cat and mouse, culminating in a desperate pursuit across the veldt.

What I thought:

I decided to read this book because I had enjoyed Damon Galgut’s Book In a Strange Room, which was my favourite of the 2010 Booker Shortlist. This book was very readable, in fact I read it in one day, and it told the tale of a criminal who killed a minister and took on his identity. It was a nicely written but sad tale and I liked the way Galgut tells a story. Another good book by Galgut.

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