Review: Six Fang Marks And A Tetanus Shot

Six Fang Marks And A Tetanus ShotThe book starts simply enough, with a hilarious look into the childhood of two brothers, Rem and Ysbrand, whose luck doesn’t just run out, but never seems to have existed in the first place.
I laughed at all the accidents Rem manages to blunder into as he tackles life without thinking of the consequences, and I felt sorry for Ysbrand when he gets burdened with the responsibility of keeping Rem, if not in one piece, at least alive.

But the comedy runs out near the end, where the novel gets dark and tense as you see just how dangerous Rem’s accident proneness can be to other people, and the finale of the book will leave you gaping in disbelief as you try to separate fact from fiction.

You get taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as you empathise with the characters, and the ending will take you by surprise instead of leaving you wanting.

Definitely one of the better novels I’ve read recently, and that means a lot coming from a science fiction nut like myself. My only complaint is that some pieces of dialogue run together because you lose track of who’s speaking.

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Backcover blurb: A war correspondent sets out from Amsterdam to South Africa to piece together the fragmented history of Ace and Rem, two brothers from South Africa. Their bizarre and disturbing scrapbook recounts a suspenseful tale of trauma and heartbreak that crosses two continents and leaves a trail of shattered lives in its wake. Six fang marks and a Tetanus Shot is a superb, multi-layered novel that investigates the eviscerating effect that intense trauma can have on a young boy’s mind.

Author Richard de Nooy’s blog.

2007.12.04