The Quarry by Damon Galgut

PS: I desperately need to know the answer to this, anybody who read the book and got it.

p. 11 describing the policeman ‘In the centre of his forehead there was a round perfect mole.’
p. 28 describing the woman waiting for the minister ‘In the centre of her forehead there was a round perfect mole.’

I assumed that the the two were siblings, given that they are in the same house, but no, this does not appear to be so. The policeman gets a visit from his sister, clearly another woman, subsequently, and it is implicit that he is sleeping with the one with the mole. Please explain.


I’m with Jessica on this one. The Guardian review at the time said shades of Hardy, Steinbeck, Faulkner, but it isn’t. It is existential, for Jessica it evokes Camus, I’d say Frisch too. The facile description, as the Guardian review goes on, of this as a ‘crime story’ beggars belief. Well, unless that’s how you’d label The Outsider too. Or The Bible.

I would also say this has aspects of Theatre of the Absurd as well. Neither that nor existentialism is for everybody – I’ve come to accept that, though I’ve never understood it. I guess that’s why this one hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, even though for me it was couldn’t-put-it-down-until-I’d-finished. Short book, hardly needed a pit-stop. I have a couple more Galguts on the pile, hope to get to them soon.

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