on Aug. 07, 2011 :
This book is well worth your time. Mr. Elsden never leaves his area of expertise or purports to tell the whole story of South Africa, but by sticking to what he saw he does a great job of filling his readers in on parts of that story that the outside world never got a chance to see. The author has a lack of vanity and a level of maturity and conscience that makes his autobiography a pleasurable read even for a stranger, although I sometimes wish he had supplied us with more detail about what it was like to work on the streets.
Personally, some of the shock and tragedy in this book was so far outside my personal experience, the only images I could summon into my head were scenes from the film /District 9/-- which I suppose gave the world a more intimate look at South Africa than most people realized.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 12, 2011 :
To get the negative out of the way, this is not written by a novelist, so from a literature point of view it is amateurish. Some humour and also common viewpoints, from a political point of view, gets lost in translation.
On the other hand, this is not written by novelist, it is written by a "cop". The from-the-hip writing style is truthful, honest, sometimes brutal and at other times hilarious. "Apartheid" is not used in a political sense, but a time frame, in which the reader is taken on a journey alongside an officer of the law through the roller-coaster that is South Africa, present and past. A very informative and enjoyable read, albeit a bit short.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)