The big stick

The big stick

4 (36 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Alma Nel leaves her home on the edge of the Kalahari to retrieve the body of her gay son in Amsterdam. Driven by guilt and grief, she resolves to reconstruct Staal's life and the events leading up to his death, undertaking a bizarre quest in a strange and surreal world. Guided by a coke-dealing Rastafarian, Alma opens a psychedelic can of worms, meeting many of Staal's friends and acquaintances - scissor queens, leather men, rent boys, daredevils. But not everyone is sympathetic towards Alma, and some of Staal's friends would prefer to keep their secret histories hidden in the darkrooms of the night. As her quest progresses, Alma discovers that a mysterious stranger is several steps ahead of her, trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle. The mysterious stranger turns out to be Staal's friend Remco de Heer, the accident-prone leading man from Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot. Rem seeks Staal's help after fleeing from his brother's attic at the end of Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot. Now Rem descends into the underworld again to find Staal's rent-boy lover Janusz, who was with him the night he died.
Rem is driven by the need to know whether his malignant accident-proneness played any part in Staal's death. The Big Stick is poignant, comical, suspenseful and (strangely) sexy. Two telling compliments from Dutch reviewers give us a snapshot of their reactions: "Characters I'd love to meet in the flesh" and "How can a straight author write so accurately about the gay scene?"
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Product details

  • Paperback | 196 pages
  • 136 x 212 x 15mm | 500g
  • Jacana Media
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • English
  • 1431402680
  • 9781431402687
  • 2,391,984

About Richard De Nooy

Richard de Nooy (1965) grew up in Johannesburg, but has lived in Amsterdam for the past 25 years. His first novel Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot (Jacana, 2007) won the University of Johannesburg Prize for Best First Book, received honourable mention at the M-Net Literary Award, and was long-listed for Sunday Times Fiction Award. De Nooy was awarded a grant by the Dutch Foundation for Literature to write his second novel in Dutch. Zacht als Staal was published in August 2010 and was long-listed for the prestigious AKO Literatuurprijs 2011. The Big Stick is the English version of Zacht als Staal.
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Rating details

36 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 22% (8)
4 61% (22)
3 14% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 3% (1)
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