The Greatest Game

The Greatest Game is a 950 page blockbuster novel, counterpointing the lives of four main characters against a background of four decades, in a transforming South Africa moving toward 1994 democratic elections. The novel has been divided into two volumes each covering two decades, the first volume is titled The Greatest Game, it introduces you to a schoolboy named Rupertheimer and his friends called the Pack. Englishman Nick Jarvis and Peter Khumalo the Zulu, along with the engimatic Afrikaner Hofmeyr. The first book describes their sixties schooldays then military service, where Rupertheimer makes a lifelong enemy in navy Killick Vokop. Despite the misfortunes that often befall him, Rupertheimer shows early signs of the remarkable prescience, he’d one day employ to guide his country to an embryonic democracy. The liberal press have covered this historic event extensively, but if you prefer your fiction laced with a semblance of historical truth, the works of Pat Stevens are certainly worth a read. The second book recounts a Seventies overseas holiday by the Pack, where they meet future wives and also come under the influence, of a mysterious motorcyclist named Steve Biker. He has a profound impact on the Pack, especially on Peter Khumalo who returns home to join the Struggle, which lands him in a fierce standoff at Rupertheimer’s wedding. This bizarre event seems to eerily echo, the pivotal role Rupertheimer must play in future negotiations, the wedding ends with a message of hope that negotiations will come about. Volume two is simply titled Rupertheimer and it describes Peter Khumalo's incarceration on Robber Island Prison, but life must go on for the rest of the Pack, so they struggle through the turbulent decade of the eighties. Rupertheimer battles valiantly with the liberal Green Freaks, while his Afrikaner friend Hofmeyr grapples with technical problems at decrepit Hospital Hill, but their pal Nick Jarvis is unfortunately experiencing marital blues. Peter Khumalo is released from prison in 1988, so he joins the Rupertheimer Corporation as a labour lawyer, which he comes to bitterly regret when Rupertheimer involves him in labour pains. Then comes the Nineties where Rupertheimer steers his country through an historic transition, by outwitting his right-wing Afrikaner uncle Barefoot Battelle, who has being joined by Rupertheimer's arch-enemy Killick Vokop. Yet Rupertheimer wins through with the help of tough police General Kokkenbull, to finally arrive at the first South African fully democratic election, a glorious achievement unparalleled in history. Never before had a ruling elite willingly given up power, and nowhere had a single bold individual achieved it, this book reveals who that remarkable individual was. Who secretly secured the release of Nelson Mandela, then steered his country through a turbulent transition, while keeping the interfering liberal press at bay. There are only two ways to change society, bloody revolution or peaceful democracy, and Rupertheimer's chosen work was to bring inclusive democracy to South Africa. Yet throughout the book Rupertheimer is hampered by the liberal press, personified by two immoral liberal sprouting journalists, named Thorn Thompson and Dick Clott. They write for a newspaper called Liberal Times, so they believe passionately in individual rights, specifically their own individual rights. Which they express by attacking Rupertheimer through the Liberal Times, the newspaper is owned by an Australian media mogul named Croc Hack, who is too weak to restrain his out of control journalists. Rupertheimer's uncle is the famous industrialist Randlord Rupertheimer, he remonstrates with his friend Croc Hack but to no avail, until the shocking Jimmy Savile scandal breaks overseas. This motivates Croc Hack to sell his newspaper chain, for he also owns British newspapers and their cowardly silence has shamed him, as a last act of courage Croc Hack fires Thorn Thompson and Dick Clott. Yet the liberal press are not finished with Rupertheimer, his journalist foes stage a raid on Hotazel Diamond Mine, where Rupertheimer once again thwarts them. You will have gathered from this description, that the behaviour of the South African liberal press, is mercilessly lampooned throughout the book. Rupertheimer had brought democracy to his country, but his great fear was the liberal media would coerce a new and uncertain ANC government, into introducing criminal friendly liberal laws that would create a crime wave. Apartheid rule by a racial elite had been destroyed by Rupertheimer, but the press were determined to replace apartheid by an even more facist system, called liberalism it is in reality rule by a minuscule influential elite. Under this system it was not necessary to even have the opposition leader in parliament, Helen Zille would rule the country through court actions from her power base in the Cape, while her friends in the press would destroy her political opponents through slander and innuendo. Will Rupertheimer be able to thwart the pushy liberals, only time will tell but whatever happens, it will be one helluva scrap. Because often when evil threatens to engulf mankind, remarkable people appear who hold the forces of darkness at bay, few men throughout history had the impact of Rupertheimer. What was the source of his power, this great son of Africa who forged democracy in his country, were his friends the font of his strength? The ability to make lifelong friends is a great gift, it involves going out of one's self to appreciate the nobility in others, liberals lack this gift for the 'I' gets in the way of the 'One.' Nick Jarvis, Peter Khumalo and Hofmeyr, were friends Rupertheimer had known for forty years. They had sniffed murder on the Soweto air, scented love and death in Hillbrow, smelt the Robber Island reek and sterile aseptic Hospital Hill. These people had minds of their own, they had no need for a liberal élite to lead them, no wish to be dominated by the arrogant Johannesburg press. The Greatest Game tells their story and that of the liberal press, it may be exaggerated but that's a writers privilege, yet I assure you the basis of the novel is verifiable South African history.
ISBN: 9781786108289
Type: Paperback
Pages: 458
Published: 18 March 2016
Price: $14.45

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