Just by the way, I love the idea that through Kindle ebooks and Amazon Createspace those who have the tenacity and courage to sit down and write a book one can, with almost no expense except that of their time, quickly learn how to within a few clicks of the mouse, upload their work onto either of the above websites so that is then available to the market.
One no longer has to wait for a large publishing house to give you the ‘A okay!’ to get your work out there. And as I always say to friends - remember you do not need a Kindle to be able to access Kindle books, free software is available to download so you can read them on your PC, laptop or phone.
Andrew often posts short essays, vignettes which describe fascinating incidents from South African history.
They have always reminded me of the historical high adventure South African short stories that I loved at varsity and school.
They cut to the quick of the incidents and in a few paragraphs capture the essence of the moment. For instance one of Andrew’s posts that stands out in my mind is his description of a Boer War story of a young Afrikaans boy who managed to trick a British platoon into thinking they were surrounded and single handedly ensured their surrender.
Review of The Zulu Warrior at http://lawrencehilton.com/1/post/2012/12/book-review-the-zulu-warrior-by-andrew-barlow.html)
In Maverick Magistrate the author applies this captivating style that kept driving me on and wanting to read more. In this book we follow Andrew from where he found himself as a young boy being bullied at school in South Africa in the 1930’s. The reader then travels with him through the journey to his becoming a regional magistrate.
This all during the years of some of the darkest moments of South African history.
One encounters members of the murky Broederbond as the government began to implement Apartheid's separate development along harsh and unfair racial lines.
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It is not without its own authentic humour as Andrew did not suffer fools gladly and would take them on, often to his own detriment, as he encounters slack and sometimes cruel characters, who had in some cases been propped up into positions they did not deserve.
Uncomfortable and difficult moments too, as the Magistrate must seek ways to find the lesser of all the evils on balance and available to him such as suspended sentences in the face of some of the absurd laws of the times.
It’s a courageous work, compelling in its absolute frankness when set against such recent turbulent SA history and franked by the author’s need to be fair and even handed in such difficult times of such historical unfairness and disparity.
And beneath the sometimes tough yet always refreshing candour, a great love of South Africa and its people resonates.
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