Monday, August 12, 2013
Review of Ishmael Toffee by Roger Smith (Tin Town, 2012)
Roger Smith’s stories always pack a powerful punch and so it is with Ishmael Toffee, a novella set in Cape Town, South Africa. The plot is quite linear and has a certain inevitability of outcome, but that matters little. Smith writes with a visceral urgency, every sentence propelling the story forward. The story immediately hooks the reader in and drags them on an emotive ride as Ishmael, with his bloody, remorseless past, is re-cast as an anti-hero, who for the first time in his life is looking out for more than just himself. The characterisation and contextualisation is excellent and the story harrowing but compelling. Overall, a quick but gripping read.