Dingz was an average Wits student - struggling with money, partying with his friends, picking up girls, skipping lectures, making up elaborate excuses for missing exams. A bright, articulate guy, Dingz and his circle of friends sit around drinking and discussing current affairs - Aids, racism, South African politics and history - in between some hair-raising adventures, like being kidnapped by taxi-drivers, contracting gonorrhoea or trying to fake a death certificate. A constant backdrop is the subtle and not-so-subtle racism of the university, which threatens to exclude him financially. Overall, this is an authentic, witty slice-of-life set at the time of the first democratic elections, full of interesting perceptions and vivid descriptions, and well-drawn and believable characters. Dingz himself is an interesting and plausible chap - intelligent and likeable, but no saint. His anger at racism is sometimes over-the-top but certainly not hard to understand, and his cynicism in using the race card is amusing. Sometimes he's unpleasant, sometimes silly - Tippex-ing out an old name on a birthday card to give to his new girlfriend - but frequently charming. A complex, multi-faceted personality, with plausible flaws and strengths. All in all, an exciting manuscript and a lively read; the narrator has a humorous, wry voice, perceptive and cynical. A welcome glimpse into the lives of the "kwaito generation", both in the township and on campus. Dog Eat Dog is author Niq Mhlongo's first novel.
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