Monday, January 15, 2007

'Green-Eyed Thieves' (Imraan Coovadia)

The jacket of Imraan Coovadia’s Green-Eyed Thieves promises that it ‘offers a pleasure that may well be greater than the illicit joys of the brothers’ lives – the bliss of language’. I couldn’t agree more.

Firoze and Ashraf Peer, the novel’s twin protagonists, have the potential to become literary heroes – characters created so compellingly that their lives and evils and triumphs reach well beyond the vehicles that house them.

You know the kind I mean: Hannibal Lecter. Dr Evil. Captain Jack Sparrow. The Yebo Gogo guys and Mo the Meerkat, from Vodacom. Bigger than their books, better than their movies and often brighter than their brands.

The crooked Peer brothers who wreak havoc from Sun City to the USA have the potential to wield that type of power. Indeed, their story is so fascinating, exquisitely penned, intelligent and rich in surprise as to warrant becoming a classic.

Green-Eyed Thieves speaks of inspired crime and brotherly betrayal; philosophy and family business – even introducing cameos for worthies like Mohammed Atta (of 9/11 fame) and President George Bush. It’s a wild romp. Read it.

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