The year is 1986. While most of Duggart’s mentally afflicted inhabitants are scattered in mental hospitals, traditional healers’ quarters and churches’ healing quarters, Dooks, like an uncomfortable number of other mentally ill people, is singing to a different tune ...
Dooks Digame is in a class of his own. Funny, witty, scary, wise, spooky, weird, creepy, sick, intense, psychic, shrink, dangerous: all these labels have been used to describe Dooks. He has as many labels as he has fans ... and enemies.
He is quite simply a special, unique case. While many people fantasise about being rich and famous one day, and occasionally imagine what their lives would be like once they had hit the jackpot, Dooks doesn’t waste his precious time with such wishful thinking. In his dreamy world, he is already a multimillionaire.
But who cares about money if it cannot buy one a sound mind?
When I saw the cover, I immediately thought of violence. With the raised hand and the enlargement of the word MADNESS – my thoughts immediately went to thoughts of being struck, or someone going “mad” and striking someone else. Although not exactly what the book was about – it certainly does fit a theme. Violence does feature slightly in the book. The cover is colourful, using blue; yellow, orange and white which to me is an interesting combination.
I enjoyed the book. Matloga has a great flair for writing and I enjoyed her style. The book was nothing like what I expected but certainly in a good way. I was introduced to the interesting and vibrant world of Dooks, our protagonist, and his adventure through the madness that is his mind. I wouldn’t exactly call it madness though, because to Dooks it makes perfect sense and he certainly gives a perfect insight into the world of people with mental illness.
There was very little that I didn’t enjoy about the book. It touched not only on the stigma of people with mental illness but also of the role of woman in the world, and of racism. I feel that this book has come at a very relevant time in society where stigmas are being challenged and questioned constantly. Matloga certainly lends her voice to those who are trying to show society that just because things are the way they are, doesn’t mean they are the way they should be.