Scribe Publications, $29.99 pb, 263 pp, 9781925106404
Mattheüs (Mattie) Duiker is a thirty-something gay man with a chequered past and an addiction to porn. His Afrikaans father, Bennie, is a self-made man, a larger-than-life uber-masculine traditionalist who has forever cast a shadow over his family. Bennie is dying from terminal cancer, and Mattie is his primary carer. Mattie, desperate to make something of his life, sets out to create a business, but his dependence on his father for the capital to do so, and the legacy of their fraught relationship, hinder his attempts at independence. Mattie’s boyfriend, Jack, a popular housemaster in an affluent boys’ college, comes from an impoverished background with a previous drug addiction and debts to dealers hanging over him. Jack is a compulsive Facebook user; the book is punctuated by status updates that offer a shorthand insight into his relationship with Mattie.