The Ambassador

Andre Philippus Brink, Author Summit Books $16.45 (288p) ISBN 978-0-671-61934-3
This is a solemn, tortuous, predictable tale about the infatuation of the South African ambassador to France for Nicolette, a flirtatious night-club dancer with religious proclivities. It is told first from the point of view of Third Secretary Stephen Keyter, then from the ambassador's and finally from that of the woman herself, none of whom are able to make the reader care much about the ambassador's predicament. However hedonistic she appears, Nicolette's effect is grave: Stephen, in love with her, informs on the ambassador and eventually kills himself; the ambassador is forced to leave his post; his wife, Erika, a lonely drinker, returns alone to South Africa; their daughter Annette repudiates not only her parents but young men eager to protect her. And Nicolette, the tragic cause of so many shattered lives, confesses her now aborted love for Stephen, who had thought her indifferent to him. On the whole, the pompous banality of the writing, pretentious pseudo-philosophy, stick figures and silly dialogue overwhelm faint stirrings of perception and honest feeling. (April 9)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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