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Publisher's Summary

Mehring, a rich, powerful and vital industrialist, has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer. But his possessions refuse to remain objects: his wife, son, and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; and even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm.

Nadine Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, paints a fascinating portrait of a man both reckless and calculating, a “conservationist” left only with the possibility of self-preservation, in this subtle and detailed study of the forces and relationships that seethe in South Africa today. Joint winner of the Booker Prize.

©1972 Nadine Gordimer (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Gordimer has written what must be considered her masterpiece. The beauty and largeness of this land she loves is drawn with a breadth and scope that is breathtaking.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Nadia May assumes different accents with complete authority. The listener is literally transported to the South African veldt.” (Library Journal)
“This is a novel of enormous power.” (New Statesman)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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New chapter?

New chapters are not delineated in any way. Not up to audible standards generally. But glad it is available.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Retains its strong relevance and message


Gordimer's prose is vivid and expressive. The story remains relevant despite changes in the country. Worth listening and remembering a great writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Saman
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 07-02-17

Writing is spectacular ...

This is a book that I wanted to read and enjoy for some time now. The author was a Nobel literature winner and profuse writer of politically charged novels in apartheid South Africa. This book was also the joint winner of the 1974 Booker Prize for Fiction.

As I read this quick pacing novel, it reminded me of the writing of V.S. Naipaul. With the words so beautifully threaded, the pleasure of the sentence was paramount to its strength and beauty. The book is laced in metaphor for the plight of the black African against the dominance of the master white regime. Yet it also covers the simmering tensions of other ethnic groups such as the Indian traders in the outskirts of the farm. Some controversial (for the time) sexual content is also scattered across the pages bringing some hilarity to the story.

Ultimately, the weakness lies in the lack of a story. For me, it was just too strong intellectually where some of the intricate nuances against apartheid and its evil are hidden in a dense fog. But that was not the fault of the author but my lack of understanding.

The awful weakness of the narration was unforgivable in this Audible release.

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I tried three times to listen to this book.

The voice of the narrator is so irritating that my mind kept drifting off so as not to have to listen to it. I found myself sometimes an half hour further, not knowing what I had heard. Sometimes I even fell asleep. I think that the story is a good one, but in this form with this narrator it is impossible to really know.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful