June 8, 2011

whatcha reading xvi

"Thokoza khehla," I say in greeting to the spirits, more out of some residual deference to my mother than anything I might feel myself.

"Thokoza," Dumisani replies and sneezes several times. "My dlozi has told me about you." He waggles his cellphone, a brand new iPhone, significantly. "He tells me you do not want to be here."

"I didn't know the ancestors were SMSing now."

"No, he calls me. The spirits find it easier with technology. It's not so clogged as human minds." He taps his head for emphasis. "They still like rivers and oceans most of all, but data is like water - the spirits can move through it. That's why you get a prickly feeling around cellphone towers."

"And here I thought it was the radiation." I know I'm being disrespectful, but I can't resist. "So is there a spiritworld MTN? What are the tariffs like? I bet you get a lot of 'please calls me's'."

"Hayibo, sisi. So cynical and you with a shavi. What would your mother say?"

- Zoo City, Lauren Beukes

This novel has an interesting premise, but overall I found it bleak and dispiriting.

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