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Wednesday, May 29, 2024



Equally idiosyncratic, surreal and marvellously nuanced, I found reading this book to be a most entertaining experience. (Review by Keith Millar)

A year ago, I had the pleasure of reading Sven Axelrad’s debut novel, Buried Treasure. An experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is an unusual and rather eccentric story which refuses to be categorised into any particular genre. It was a real triumph for the novice author and I really looked forward to his next offering.

And now here it is. Sven Axelrad’s second book, God’s Pocket. And in my humble opinion, it is even better than his first.

Equally idiosyncratic, surreal and marvelously nuanced, I found reading this book to be a most entertaining experience.

God’s Pocket is a coming-of-age tale of sorts. Set in the same town of Vivo as Buried Treasure and features five best friends who are about to start their university studies.

However, one of them - Filipe or Filo as his friends call him - is at odds with his parents’ insistence that he study accountancy. He feels that this is a soul-destroying subject and his ambition is to skip varsity and to write a novel.

Together with his friends, he hatches a plan to run away from home for a period of six months and spend this time writing his novel.

A remote and rather ramshackle shack at the bottom of an abandoned quarry seems to be the ideal place to hide out. His friends agree to support him by bringing him water supplies on a monthly basis.

However, evil lurks in the quarry, and all does not go according to plan.

Axelrad, who is a Durban resident, has created a largely interesting and engaging cast of characters, both human and supernatural, to tell his story. There are exceptions, however, who add considerable spice to the proceedings.

This book I feel cannot be categorised into any of the usual genres. It is unusual and quite eccentric and magical.

So, if you enjoy something different this could be the book for you.

I, for one, am once again left looking forward to Sven Axelrad’s next offering. – Keith Millar

God’s Pocket is published by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House, South Africa. ISBN is 978-1-4152-1133-5. The recommended retail price is R320.