The Unspeakable by Peter Anderson is being officially released on September 20th and we have had an advance copy to read and review. Here follows my review…
The Unspeakable is a truly immense, intense, somewhat gut-wrenching, yet eloquently written piece of literature.
Set during the dark times of apartheid South Africa, Peter Anderson expertly conveys the dark setting of the period and the complex nature of his characters – especially Rian, the main character – most of whom are not particularly likeable. You don’t feel especially close to the characters, but you can understand them.
The writing style of Peter is up there with the best I’ve read, his poetic rhythm and use of words gives the whole book a dark, moody and striking theme.
Some parts are shocking, and are meant to be. Peter doesn’t hold back or try to sugar coat the past, he tells it how it is, and was. This may make uncomfortable reading for some people, but his honest account is refreshing to read.
The story itself is really interesting and while you don’t particularly feel an affinity to any of the characters (or at least I didn’t), you get a sense of the attitudes of people during that time and the underlying political environment is well and truly highlighted.
In it’s essence I think it is also a story about human nature – it’s darkness, madness and it’s existential fragility under certain circumstances, situations and prevailing conditions, both political and personal.
A truly remarkable book and one I was immersed in. Highly recommended.