After the Eclipse" by Tom Rymour won the Sanlam Literary Award in South Africa.
"A compulsive read," wrote the jury. "The prose is mature and accomplished, creating a sensory illusion that is almost cinematic."
Billed as "Gormenghast meets King Solomon's Mines", it's a wry, irreverent take on race, religion, politics and sex
(Your hook starts here)
January Beeswax is a white artist born into an upside-down world, an African enclave where millions of white serfs are ruled by a handful of black racists. In this society, eating is considered obscene but copulation is a matter for elaborate public rituals.
January leaves his wilderness village on a pilgrimage and witnesses an assassination, which makes him a marked man. In the alleys of a witchcraft-ridden city, he is used as unwilling bait by the unforgiving Lady Nehanda. She is a black aristocrat, fighting a secret war against an undercover force that aims to destroy her privileged regime. (and stops here)
Among the ingredients of this politically-incorrect page turner are a secret diary, several massacres, a few orgies, sundry evil spirits, a friendly baboon spider and an earnest lecture on the evils of mastication.
The climax of the tale impressed Sunday Independent reviewer Michiel Heyns:
"Rymour manages to surprise us at the end, and, indeed, forces us to reconsider our reading of the whole book... Ideally, one would now reread this clever and accomplished novel to appreciate the skill with which the whole box of tricks has been assembled."
Don't tell me what someone else thinks about the book. Tell me what the book is about. Right now you have a list of events and an idea. You'll need a lot more for me to read pages no matter what anyone thinks of your climax.