cruel crazy beautiful world

The universe that [Blacklaws] constructs is close to cinematographic writing and comic strips [...]. A fizzing, virile, humanistic novel. Catherine Simon, Le Monde

A sense of metaphor breathes poetic dimension into the novel that lifts its writing to a higher plane.  [...] one of those books which manage to bewitch the reader from the very first paragraphs, as much by the storyline as by the realism of the lands painted therein. Alexis Brunet, La Cause Littéraire

[Written in] a language woven of colorful threads, of Xhosa, Afrikaans, Spanish, Swahili, a reflection of the rainbow that colors pacifist dreams, a language that murmurs like the sea or sparks like gunfire. Sophie Ehrsam, La Quinzaine

Upon closing the book, we're left with the strange sensation of having ourselves run along the earthen paths, at times crossing in terror bands of new cowboys armed to the teeth, vagabonds in rags looking for hope, tourists blind to the trafficking of which they are the motors, men and women who fight each day to survive in a cruel, crazy, beautiful milieu.  Le Monde en nous

Blacklaws' spare, metaphoric descriptions conjure a South Africa that is more believable and complex than most others I have read; this understanding I suspect is only revealed to those who know the country deeply and call it home. When painting a scene Blacklaws illuminates a spattering of details, drops in the characters and expertly conjures a vivid and compelling reality in the mind of the reader. P. La France

This book is indescribably beautiful. It's a novel that is so nostalgically crafted that upon finishing, I yearn for a homeland that is not my own. Each character is intricately designed, each setting described in such vivid detail that you not only see and hear and smell South Africa, but feel the crazy, beautiful, and, yes, cruel heart that beats beneath it. Chelsea Curto

I was spellbound by Cruel Crazy Beautiful World. I lost myself in a world of sharks, crocodiles, whales and peacocks. The descriptions are at once visceral and ever so slightly surreal ... poetic in a way that makes you smile but also keeps the story rolling along. The writer John Gardner said that a story must be "vivid and continuous", and Cruel Crazy is both of those things. This book seems to jump right from the page into the reader’s imagination, and all in technicolour detail. A thrilling and beautiful read. Carly Nugent