“BESPECTACLED, nerdy Baxter Zevcenko is not your average South African 16-year-old. Okay, so he is as needlessly mean as one might expect to his special-needs younger brother, whom he labels a retard.
Baxter has a teen squeeze, Esmé, and like many adolescent youths they rendezvous daily in the subway next to the train station, “to exchange smoke and saliva” before school.
School is Westridge High, where, on the face of it, it is the usual schoolboy japes of tormenting teachers during class and trying during breaks to avoid the turf squabbles of competing gangs. But there is more to Baxter than bullied siblings and a humdrum existence as a recalcitrant pupil. Baxter is also the kingpin of Spider, Westridge’s porn distribution syndicate — where a trend towards “creature porn” promises to make Spider’s latest title, Tokoloshe Money Shot, a winner — and he is hoping to expand his empire into neighbouring schools.
Baxter has problems more serious than acne and getting his homework completed on time. For starters, he has recurring nightmares that cause him to believe he is somehow mentally tethered to a now long-dead Voortrekker prophet and visionary, Siener van Rensburg.
Worse, there have been gruesome murders on Table Mountain, 12 with their throats slit and the likeness of an eye carved into their foreheads, and Baxter suspects he might be responsible. After all, he already knows that he is a serial killer and admits to his psychiatrist: “I’ve killed people. Lots of people. At least I hear they were people. They looked more like monsters to me.”
Such is the opening backdrop to Charlie Human’s first novel, Apocalypse Now Now.” – WILLIAM SAUNDERSON-MEYER
Apocalypse Now Now is possibly one of the greatest novels I have read. Charlie Human’s representation of Cape Town is not sugarcoated and dressed up, it is raw and believable. I found myself getting lost in Baxter’s world of porn-syndicates and school gangs and politics. The familiarity with the setting, combined with narrative that is drenched in pop-culture and the occasional references specifically to Capetownian street culture had me chuckling to myself as though I was let on an inside joke.
Furthermore, Charlie’s unique take on the supernatural and South Africa myth and folklore is gripping. Filled with tokoloshes, sangomas, spider-like zombies, chimeras, glowing ghosts and giant crows, this is one of those novels I’d probably read over and over again.
Fast paced and to the point, Apocalypse Now Now sets the standard really high for all local speculative fiction.
Get your copy on Amazon, trust me this one is worth multiple reads!