Marabou Stork Nightmares, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Roy Strang is engaged in a strange quest in a surrealist South Africa.

His mission is to eradicate an evil predator-scavenger bird, the marabou stork, before it drives away the peace-loving flamingo from the picturesque Lake Torto.

But behind this world lies another: the world of Roy's bizarre family, the Scottish housing scheme in which he grew up, his mundane job, a disastrous emigration to Africa, and his youthful life of brutality with a gang of soccer casuals.

As one world crashes into the other, this potentially charming story of ornithological goodwill mutates into a filthy tale of violence, abuse and redemption.




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By the time I was half way through "Marabou Stork Nightmares" I was loving it. Roy's African fantasy is so interesting, especially the way it keeps slipping out of his control, with the increasing frequency of homoerotic moments that he tries to suppress. I spotted the Famous Five influence immediately, in the outdated slang he & Sandy use and the obsession with picnics and typically English food.Once I'd finished it, I was even more impressed. Roy's fantasies are an escape from his real life, and as the book progresses you learn more about his life and realise why he is so loathe to wake up from his coma. But he gradually loses control of his fantasy as his inner demons break through, just as he had lost control of his life.Bookcrossing definitely got me to read a wider range of books than I used to before I joined. I didn't expect to like Marabou Stork Nightmares at all.

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