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Tsotsi was a fascinating read. A book such as this can only be written by one who lives it. And the author lived in Johannesburg and writes about what he knows. So I do recommend it highly; but now I want to talk about a theme in the book. This is the second book I’ve read this year that addresses a situation that we are seeing more and more in the Metro area: Young Blacks are brutally beating and killing people with no apparent regard to any kind of decency or motive. Once a week or so, a person dies in the Phillips neighborhood or in N. Minneapolis and often it is seems almost random. The thug (“tsotsi”) kills as others might swat a fly or throw a rock at a tree. Others get beaten to within an inch of their life even after relinquishing their money and goods. The other relevant book is Education of a Felon, by Edward Bunker. This is a memoir of a man who spent a lot of time in prison, and, like Jean Genet, became famous for writing about it. A topic in the book is that even hardened criminals are amazed at the crazy behavior of many of the Black prisoners in that they were jailed for meaningless and profitless violence. It really struck me that Tsotsi goes a long way toward explaining the mentation of the perpetrators. Anyway, a very good book.
posted Jul 8, 2006 at 2:29PM
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