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The Zebra Affaire Paperback – May 15, 2014
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"I just finished reading this book and it's truly a masterpiece on so many levels. As a South African who left S.A. in the late 70's, I can attest to the authenticity of Mr. Fine's historical and social facts, as well as life as it existed there at that time... It is a beautiful, heartfelt and very complete love story of the "no-no" kind, written magnificently by Mark Fine." ILANA EDELSTEIN Author, "The Patron Way"
"I see Pulitzer Prize material here. This is fascinating history--with such insight that I've been thinking of the common ground Southerners from the US has shared with South Africans. This (novel) is fantastic, relevant, and an incredible contribution to literature, history, anthropology, and all of the humanities. Mark Fine is brave and brilliant." JEANNE MARY ALLEN Author & Writer
"The Zebra Affaire is a fast-paced, suspenseful tale about the racial divide in the police state of South Africa. The story involves a mixed race relationship during apartheid, riots, tribes at war and the horrors of an unfair and unyielding society. It's the kind of page turner that some of us devour hungrily, anxious for the next thrilling bite." CAROL CASSARA Book Recommendations to Warm You
"In the best tradition of historical fiction, Fine has woven the story of several intriguing individuals into the larger fabric of a troubled time. In this case, a biracial couple's story is at the center of late 1970s apartheid South Africa. Fine has a flair for detailed descriptions (and) brings his experience of growing up in South Africa to the page with clarity and conviction." BRAD AUERBACH, Entertainment Today
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
Life in the mid-1970’s South Africa is brought alive with stunning visual clarity. The contradiction, subjugation and self-evisceration by a country, resolute in its decision not to recognise the capabilities and talents of all its people.
The love story of Elsa and Stanwell, although the main line within the book, was not the only attraction that kept me hooked. The way in which Mark Fine interweaves his historical references – to support a scene or a character’s action – intrigued me, and delivered a higher level of realism. It brought home the fear, pain and hopelessness of the struggling lovers when faced with an immutable society, barren of comprehending anything beyond the dictate of a brutal regime.
It is obvious that Mr Fine has an acute understanding of the human condition. His careful, but colourful analysis of people, their motivations, their obsessions and how tradition and heritage determines behaviour is quite astounding. This perceptive insight intertwined within the story makes for a sociological dissection of mankind, and shows why peace is unfortunately still on an olive branch too far out of our reach.
I found the supporting characters, especially DGF to be very fascinating.Read more ›
I see in the author’s profile in the front of the book that he’s a music record executive, but in his story telling he clearly has an artist’s eye.
Like a word painting he has captured the colors and images, of not only the country (the cities and wilds) but also the people (in all their hues); and scored the movements and events of the era with truly brilliant nuances.
The interior design of the book has a unique feature I’ve never seen before. Rather than conventional footnotes, the author has inserted fascinating information within the storyline (where it’s most needed and convenient). He has delineated these sections from the main plot with specially italicized paragraphs—and in the preface invited the reader to skip over these sections if they interfered in the plot. I expected to do just that.
To my amazement I found the research and contextual historical information to be riveting, I read every segment. And in a painless way I learned so much about the related government laws, tribal differences, and the contrasting experiences and emotions in the lives of both the black and white peoples of South Africa.
Rarely is one taken back in time to revisit 20th century history through an interracial love story. And to experience neighborhoods and communities that at the same time feel so familiar, yet also so primitive and remote.Read more ›
As the love of Elsa and Stanwell grows deeper and more intense they are assisted by some to strengthen their bond. While segregation forbids open encouragement of their union, friends support them quietly. But the strict Afrikaner regime stands against them if not publicly at least in a behind closed doors attack on their union. While they flaunt their affair the government seems to stand in stunned silence as the world looks on. But the fanatics behind the scenes are both appalled and disgusted by their obvious sexual relationship and strive to expose and punish them for breaking hundreds years old laws.
With vibrant descriptions of both the beauty and ugliness of South Africa the story weaves its way to an intense climax. Waiting for the resolution of the love affair the reader will also wait for the resolution of apartheid. Knowing the eventual outcome of South African politics and the rise of Nelson Mandela it is easy to anticipate the same result for Stanwell and Elsa.
I highly recommend this lush and beautifully written story. Fine’s use of words is akin to an artist’s use of the palette; this is not a black and white story, this is a rainbow story with the rich colors of lives in turmoil. In a word, it is brilliant. If I could rate it higher I would do so.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel is what fine literature is meant to be, a moving and vivid journey that having been enjoyed will change your life, your outlook and affect how you see and behave in the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Deborah Nelson
What a great job the author did in telling the history of apartheid through the love story of a beautiful young woman and a big strong black warrior. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karen K. Loebbaka
This book came highly recommended and I put off reading it till I knew I had stopped having expectations. Preconceived expectations are never a good thing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anita Kovacevic
I really liked this novel. Good story but for me I was impressed with the historical content as it wove its way through the narrative. Read morePublished 5 months ago by jack kregas
"The Zebra Affaire" is a powerful and well written novel by Mark Fine. I thoroghly enjoyed reading about the blossoming love affair between the interracial couple, Elsa and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carola
I came upon this author's superb novel, The Zebra Affaire, after I had browsed upon his excellent book trailer video on YouTube. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Christina Gross
Learning history through a fictional narrative is absolutely the best way to learn about a topic. Read more
The “Zebra Affaire” is a book you must have! It is an absolutely outstanding read, the best book I've read for decades. No kidding! Read morePublished 6 months ago by ildiko rosen
I have read many novels in the romance genre, quite a few best sellers. Some of the stories have touched me but ‘The Zebra Affaire’ is special because it has moved me. Read morePublished 7 months ago by trisha ghosh