Book mark: The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk

The Alibi ClubJaco van Schalkwyk is an artist and a writer with enormous promise. His visual and literary imageries correspond. Published simultaneously in Afrikaans and English, his debut novel The Alibi Club is a poignant, meticulously constructed narrative, written in a starkly revealing prose. It tells the story of a medley of striking individuals who frequent the titular club in Brooklyn where booze and drugs flow in abundance, the jukebox and the pool table provide entertainment, and human relationships are forged and discarded through the nights. The narrator is a young South African who progresses from cleaner to bartender at The Alibi. He arrives in Brooklyn in 1998 and departs nearly a decade later. His observations paint an incisive portrait of the neighbourhood during that time, especially the radical transformation it experienced after the horrific attacks of 9/11.

The Alibi Club
Jaco van Schalkwyk
Umuzi, 2014

First published in the Cape Times on 24 October 2014.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s