Also available in English, Wolf, Wolf
(translated by Michiel Heyns).
He presses the button to activate the screen of the CCTV system: two sharply pointed dog’s ears. A wolfhound; except that a wolfhound can’t reach that high. He keeps the button pressed in and peers at the blue-grey night scene of the pavement and the section of the road covered by the cameras at the gate. The dog’s head, abnormally large, stares back at him. There’s something about the hairiness of the dog hairs and the oddly impassive gaze of the dark pin-hole eyes that doesn’t seem quite right. And where’s the rest of the dog-creature’s body? He knows who it is even before the deliberately-gruffened voice comes over the intercom.
‘Matt,’ says the dog-muzzle, ‘it’s me. Please open up.’
Mattheus Duiker, the only son of Benjamin Duiker, the former owner of Duiker’s Motors, opens the gate of their Cape Town mansion to his lover, Jack. Disguised as a wolf, Jack invades the intimate darkness in which Matt is waiting for his father to die and for his own life to take off. Shiny-eyed at the prospect, the two young men sneak past the study where the old blind man, dwelling on melancholy attachments and sombre suspicions, sits listening for the footfall of death.
Eben Venter’s novel is an unsparing investigation into the relation between a father and his son, into the disenfranchisement of a man who can glean scant wisdom from the past to equip him for life in a rapidly changing dispensation. Passionate. Disturbing. A masterly unravelling of the fragile thread of feeling – Eben Venter at the top of his game.