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Phil van Wulven was born in Africa, in a family who changed houses and schools, as well as countries, quite often. Landlords, Headmasters, and governments prefer you to leave places as you found them, he discovered. He has lived in Canada for quite a while now, where he is busy growing roots. He hates rejection almost as much as dejection.
He likes trees, birds, sunsets, and all that, and is getting used to the idea that seeing a sunrise doesn’t mean he is on the way to work.
He likes to read, write, drink beer, and fix stuff.
on Dec. 10, 2011 :
Philip Van Wulven paints a masterful picture of life in South Africa during the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe war for independence. His knowledge of the people, attitudes and mindsets of this era is remarkable, as is his knowledge of ancient African myth and legend. Altogether, Van Wulven weaves a fascinating tale of war, revolution, love and the mystical that once begun is difficult to put down. I look forward to reading more of his tales of Africa.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 10, 2011 :
This story begins slowly but quickly picks up momentum until it becomes impossible to put this down. I read it in one sitting.
Pete Fitt -- a gentle, peace-loving, eighteen year old on the cusp of manhood -- leaves England, where he's been attending school, to return to his homeland of Africa, where he soon discovers that changes have begun to take place there. Inadvertently, he immediately becomes caught up in a small part of these changes, and from there, his involvement continues to grow. He's forced to reach deep within himself to solve some of these problems, and as a result, must change, grow, and eventually begin to adapt to his new reality while still remaining true to himself.
The detail and description of vegetation, animals, habitat, and culture, as well as folklore, mythology, and detail and description of the Rhodesian Bush War are simply amazing. One can't help but feel that they're there, experiencing this along with Pete. And if, nothing else, this quite the education experience.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 29, 2011 :
I’ve read Eland Dances a couple of times and could read it a couple more. I get more out of it each time.
Pete’s desire to right wrongs, and the slightly magical circumstances that help him do that, make for an exciting and satisfying story. The sixties flavour and background of African politics, from an author who knows the time and place, add extra interest.
(reviewed the day of purchase)