Gift Ideas – Avoid the rush

‘A lucid, intriguing, excellent story. It’s different … and that’s important.’ – Author Norman Bilbrough

The Chameleon is the tale of Rorke Wilde, who grows up in Rhodesia. Rorke’s need to mimic his pet chameleon, if he is to survive the racial discourse in a country divided by apartheid during the 1970s.

Rorke’s father works in the British South Africa Police while his mother is a clerk in the tax office. His best friend and father figure is the family’s domestic worker, Themba Dube, an AmaNdebele of Zulu descent. Whom guides Rorke through the turmoil of civil bias.

Themba introduces Rorke to his nephew Lucky Ndlovu, who lost his parents in the AIDS pandemic and who lives with his grandmother in a squatter camp (informal settlements) in Johannesburg.

The old man and boy share their experiences of a life of poverty post-independence where Rorke learns about the real Africa that he once saw through Panglossian glasses.

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The Chameleon reviewed by Barry Hemans

Skilfully written!

This is a beautifully written book.

It has great flow that comes from highly efficient writing that makes it easy to read.

Combined with riveting content, it was hard for me to put down and I read it twice in quick succession.

If I was to choose a word to describe all the issues touched on by this book it would be ‘inequality’.

Farrell is obviously a man with integrity and conscience that provides the driving force for a cathartic discussion of these inequalities and how he coped with them in honest, emotional writing.

I should know, I grew up with him in Wankie and Plumtree!