Absolution by Patrick Flanery


Patrick Flanery

In a paranoid society, under or after apartheid, repression and fear twist and politicise motives and loyalties so that relationships are betrayed and die. Only creative writing can recreate reality and enable understanding and forgiveness. This book offers a deeper, psychologically nuanced take on the realities of South Africa today, way beyond media platitudes.


As you walked, your thoughts began to fill with the deaths of others, and your own inevitable death, and the absence of Sam - an absence you felt in the weight of the bag on your back, the mesh of red vinyl bearing into you, opening and inhabiting you. The thought of deaths you had caused - the deaths for which you alone were ultimately responsible - filled the whole of you, was played into fullness by a song beating through your memory. You were deep inside yourself, absorbed, death filling you past the point of contentment ... sweetened by the thought of your own death, the death that must come, that might arrive within the hour or the next day.

  • Red Dust by Gillian Slovo
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  • The Life and Times of Michael K by J M Coetzee

Books with similar mood

The Shell Collector

Anthony Doerr

The Good Son

You-jeong Jeong

Children of the Cave

Virve Sammalkorpi

The Sport of Kings

C E Morgan


Carmen Laforet

The Deadly Space Between

Patricia Duncker

The Vorrh

Brian Catling

The Fall of the Stone City

Ismail Kadare


Tomas Eloy Martinez

I'm OK, I'm Pig

Kim Hyesoon


Hasan Ali Toptas

The Synapse Sequence

Daniel Godfrey

See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt

The Transmigration of Bodies

Yuri Herrera

Arab Jazz

Karim Miské

The Known World

Edward Jones

State of Siege

Juan Goytisolo

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Richard Zimler

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer

Blank Gaze

Jose Luis Peixoto

The Meaning of Night

Michael Cox

You Should Have Left

Daniel Kehlmann

The House of Shattered Wings

Aliette de Bodard

The Well

Catherine Chanter

White is for Witching

Helen Oyeyemi

The Wisdom of Crocodiles

Paul Hoffman


Niall Griffiths

My Lover's Lover

Maggie O'Farrell

The Coldest Winter Ever

Sister Souljah

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong

Nowhere People

Paulo Scott

The Taker

Alma Katsu

The Scornful Moon

Maurice Gee

House of Leaves

Mark Z Danielewski

Man Tiger

Eka Kurniawan

The Republic of Trees

Sam Taylor


Sofi Oksanen


Alan Trotter


Sarah Jackson

The Spanish Bow

Andromeda Romano-Lax

Confession of a Murderer Told in One Night

Joseph Roth

The Insult

Rupert Thomson

Notes for a War Story

Gipi &nbsp

The Town

Shaun Prescott

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman


Howard Jacobson

Swimming Home

Deborah Levy