'In Eben Venter’s expert hands the ambivalent hot-house relations between a dying, old-school Afrikaner patriarch and his troubled, gay son comes to carry terrific political resonance without ever becoming clumsily schematic. Porn addiction, the challenges of intimacy, gay insecurity and hetero complacency are all thrown into the heady brew.'
'Wolf, Wolf is a deeply felt and deeply disturbing story. Like all the best dispatches from the modern world, it takes you to places you never expected to go — and challenges you to learn from what you find there.'
'Wolf, Wolf is a novel of heart-stopping humanity, a chilling portrait of men shattered by the disappointments of inheritance and the brutality of the way we live now.'
Patrick Flanery, author of Absolution and Fallen Land
Wolf, Wolf is a slow burn: distressing, subtle and excellent.
Rebecca Gowers, author of When to Walk
'South Africa’s shifting social topography underlies this slow-burn tale of a dying patriarch and his self-absorbed son ... Often caustic, sometimes tender ... [Wolf, Wolf is a] textured, slow-burning portrait of suburbia in transition.'
Hedley Twidle, Financial Times
'A stark study of arrested ethnicity ... Eben Venter has lived in Australia for decades but exile has sharpened his perspective. Wolf, Wolf is a mesmerising novel.'
Christopher Hope, The Guardian
'At the heart of Wolf, Wolf is the confluence of two recurrent tropes in recent South African fiction. The first, which explores the post-apartheid transition in an obviously allegorical way, features the return of an expatriate child, often to a parent's deathbed, sometimes to the farm ...The second is that of queer self-discovery, often in the context of familial or communal resistance ... In Wolf, Wolf, Venter's harnessing of both tropes serves to explore the cost of white privilege and the burden of inheritance or its expectation in South Africa's precarious present ... Venter's brave, lyrical novel offers neither consolation nor nostalgia, only a doomed sense of the inevitability of an accounting to come.'
Andrew Van Der Vlies, Times Literary Supplement
'What’s striking about Venter is how thoroughly he has undone his own cultural and political formation as an “opregte Afrikanerseun” from a farming background: today he is in the front ranks of writing that “queers” the establishment — both the current one and its apartheid predecessor. In my reading, Wolf, Wolf is a finely probing understanding, in the form of imaginative storytelling, of current social and human complexities.'
Leon de Kock, Financial Mail
'…Venter’s artistry affords a richer pleasure than texts aiming at instant gratification. Nothing in his sustained and careful exposition prepared me for the power of its unravelling in the last sixty pages. This is a masterful novel about people who lose control of themselves and their world, in the most literal and unsettling sense of the term.'
Ken Barris, Cape Times
'The honesty, the terror, the merciless and yes, the sheer nakedness of the characters makes Wolf, Wolf a book that has changed my life.'
Jaco Barnard, litnet.co.za
'Powerful ... a hard book to put down ... It is not surprising that Cape Times named it one of the 10 best books of 2013 or that it was shortlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times (South Africa) prize.'
The Saturday Paper
'Very well-written ... Venter has a punchy, vivid style, with a lot of unusual sentence constructions that flow really well together ... A rewarding and satisfying read.'
Darragh McManus, Irish Independent
‘At its heart, Wolf, Wolf is a portrait of violent change; of an Afrikaaner world hesitantly relinquishing control to a multicultural reality; of a young homosexual struggling to live honestly in a conservative, religious family; of old money finding its power radically reduced in a new economy. Venter has given his novel the feel of an unanswered cry in the night.’
Adam Rivett, Weekend Australian
'[A] wild ride of hope and resentment ... The Afrikaans version is described by a reviewer as coruscating, and this it is in English: brilliant, emitting flashes of light, but brutal and loosely in the lineage of the great Coetzee'
Anne Susskind, Sydney Morning Herald
'Venter sure can write, in a pithy, stark style not unlike Coetzee's — fluently translated by Michiel Heyns from the Afrikaans.'
Sarah Lang, North and South
'A subtle, yet powerful tale of relationships and masculinity, of obsession and thwarted dreams ... A rich, thoughtful novel.'