The Whale Caller

The Whale Caller

3.59 (332 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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The Whale Caller, in tattered tuxedo, spends his days on the cliffs of the small coastal town of Hermanus blowing his kelp horn to the whales that visit in the summer months. In particular, he blows for Sharisha, a southern right whale who always responds to his call. With each surfacing of her giant head and each thrashing of her tail, the Whale Caller's connection to Sharisha deepens. Then Saluni enters his life. Saluni u the feisty village drunk, a passionate but self-destructive woman who frequents the taverns and consorts with passing sailors. She cannot understand nor tolerate his fixation with the whales, and as the relationship between her and the Whale Caller grows, she finds herself vying with Sharisha for his attention. The tension builds to a devastating climax that has terrible and lasting consequences.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 210 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 20mm | 258.55g
  • The Penguin Group (SA) (Pty) Ltd
  • Parklands, South Africa
  • 0143024809
  • 9780143024804

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Review quote

'An Exuberant and quirky tale of the New South Africa.. Zakes Mda ... is among the most acclaimed exponents of a new artistic freedom. His fiction has a beguiling lyricism and humour, revelling in the beauty of aloe-covered mountains or Cape marine life. Yet THE WHALE CALLER, his fifth and perhaps most imaginatively freewheeling novel, also captures malaise in the 'new South Africa' ... The novel charts this bizarre triangle ['man, woman and whale'] with quirky humour and a keen delineation of character, its tragicomic passion between marginal misfits reminiscent of Athol Fugard's Boesman and Lena. ...A wise and seductive tale of love and jealousy, THE WHALE CALLER also hints at the precarious euphoria of a society in transition.' Maya Jaggi, The Guardian
'THE WHALE CALLER is a novel of love and art. It unfolds in the simple, elliptical outlines of a ballad .. But behind this simplicity lies a carefully woven text of symbolism. ... In novel after novel, Zakes Mda seems to have cultivated a mode of writing which the realistic and the magical co-exist with unruffled ease. ... This novel is - in my opinion - his finest artistic achievement yet.' Harry Garuba, Independent
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Rating details

332 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 22% (72)
4 33% (110)
3 32% (105)
2 11% (35)
1 3% (10)
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