Books by Brent Meersman

Latest: Rattling the Cage (2021) A Childhood Made Up (2020) Homo Odyssey (2018) Sunset Claws (2017) 80 Gays around the World (2015) Five Lives at Noon (2013) Reports Before Daybreak...

Brent Meersman


The novel should fall like rain in the desert of minds parched by ignorance of the history of our people and amaze those who do remember it with its vivid recreation of those times . . . It’s a great bonding of fiction and history and by showing us how much has changed, a wonderful antidote to disillusion at the seemingly slow progress we have made since the 1980s. It’s a timely reminder of what we have been through and why we must keep on keeping on. Moreover, it’s a page-turner.

Jane Rosenthal, Mail & Guardian

Full review in the Mail & Guardian, 21 April 2010. “Stories of our wars and peace”

Meersman supports his tale of Dickensian complexity with vivid insights into the lives of ordinary people, workers and other classes . . . Meersman traces the intricate links that bind individuals in this fragmented land, and uses those connections to prove the subtle interdependence of communities

– Len Ashton, Noseweek

Full review in Noseweek, May 2011 “Escape from hell . . . a tense tale of survival”

rises above that description of a political novel . . .an extremely good book indeed

John Maytham, Cape Talk, 17 June 2011

Clever, very clever

Here we have something that, instead of trying to expiate, blame or moralise, and mostly unsentimentally describes the lives and perceptions of the generations that lived through apartheid. This is not to say you will not be brought to tears, but it’s not just for the oppressed in the classical sense, but also for those who were brain-washed, and suffered breaches of their human rights even though they were allowed to vote.

Aly Verbaan, Cape Times

stories told, captured with acute precision that places the reader dead in their shoes . . . you feel as if the world is being shifted beneath your feet. It’s truly a peculiar tug of war, sawing through the fibre of apartheid, back and forth, anger and compassion. Reports before daybreak is a rollercoaster overflowing with emotional brilliance that can leave you light-headed and nauseous. Meersman has taken a fresh approach to apartheid storytelling that really digs deep.

Tshepo Tshabalala, Pretoria News, A new angle on apartheid era, 4 July 2011 Full review: click here.

The ideal choice for every reader that knows little about an important part of the history of South Africa’s people, as well as those that wish to relive past memories through this outstanding depiction . . . The honest, to the point narrative follows the reports that clearly lay bare an undiluted history.

The novel portrays each character during the Struggle in a unique way . . . Meersman uses these voices to experience the truth through fiction.

– Nikki Lordan, Die Burger, 9 May 2011.

Full review in Die Burger

Meersman expertly captures what is was like to live in South Africa in the 1980s, and how a country, plagued by rutheless repression for so many years, became a country of hope. Reports before daybreak is a brilliant merging of fact and fiction

Candice Quinton, The Witness, 13 July 2011.

a thriller with a deeply insightful core

– SA Jewish Report, 13 May 2011.

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