Tag Archives: The Forgotten Gods of Jozi

My Favourite Customer Review

Of the few that I have received, this is by far my favourite customer review:

For a moment, imagine that the Gods are borne out of human and animal imagination, a need to reconcile the unforgiving natural world through storytelling, manifested quite solidly in the perceivable realm as beings of vast powers, desires, and hungers. Gods of knowledge and portent. Gods of sex and lust. Gods of blood and gold. This novella takes the reader into the minds, histories, and hearts of gods who have been ‘forgotten’ in name, though remembered and ‘fed’ in deed, and play out their continuing drama of agendas and violence against the backdrop of modern Johannesburg, South Africa. I urge anyone who enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s book AMERICAN GODS to take this journey, because while the former is a seminal work of mythic genius, it is ‘safe’, and the Forgotten Gods of Jozi is equally genius and most certainly not safe.
– Amanda Close

It is regarding my book, “The Forgotten Gods of Jozi” :

Amanda is perhaps partly correct in her comparison of my book to Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods“. I read that book of Gaiman’s many years ago and it stuck with me as a favourite, but it was more the timing of that reading than the reading itself that influenced me. The timing of reading “American Gods” was just after I had discovered the intriguing writings and thoughts of Austin Osman Spare that resulted in the alternative occult school of thought, “Chaos Magic“.

A thought that always stuck with me was Spare’s inversion of cause and effect that formed the basis of traditional religion. What if, instead of us believing in gods that exist, the gods exist because we believe in them. What if belief itself had the power, not the gods.

After Spare’s writings stirred a philosophical tickle in me, Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” struck a narrative chord with me that I have often contemplated.

I suppose “The Forgotten Gods of Jozi” was a naturally extension (many years later) of these underlying thoughts and, even if I did not set out to replicate, duplicate or fabricate similarities, they do perhaps exist.

That said, beyond the logic of the oldest gods existing in the oldest known settlement of man (the Cradle of Humankind), the “Forgotten Gods of Jozi” is also partly a self-biography of me moving to Johannesburg (about seven or so years ago). It’s chosen settings are (and often chronologically) the places I stayed in over the early years, the places and things that left impressions on me and my local haunts in those days.

And, in this sense, the tale has nothing to do with Gaiman or Spare. Rather it is actually quite a personal tale with creative license on the city I’ve come to love.

All said and done, the above must be my favourite customer review of all time. It is quite an honour to be compared with Neil Gaiman, in any shape or form! Thanks Amanda.

I am two thirds of the way through my next book’s rough draft, “The Space Between Ages”, and here is a mock-up cover for it:

The Space Between Ages
The Space Between Ages

The Forgotten Gods of Jozi

Here is a link to my new book: The Forgotten Gods of Jozi.

And here is the blurb:

He lifts the cold, jagged rock. It is heavier than he expected. And then, with all his might, he smashes it down on the exposed skull of the man standing with his back to him. A loud, sick thump rings out. It mingles with his shout and the other man’s surprised, brief scream.
And then there is nothing but silence, broken only by his panting and the sound of blood rushing through his ears.
The world is silent.
The sky does not open up and the sun ignores him. The soft wind drifts by as the world carries on callously.
Everything is the same, but everything is different.
And a thousand, thousands years later the roar of Gorgion Tuesday erupts from a petrol station in upmarket Houghton – Johannesburg – his lover senselessly murdered in his arms. An old, cold evil stirs deep in the city under the African full moon, pushing back against the new nicotine-neon gods of modern man. Overlooking ancient battlefields now covered by complexes and shopping centres, a dark omen flies in through Old Man Mhlu’s window while Ragman Blue’s hypnotic song washes over a mortal crowd in a dingy bar in Fourways where dark things scuttle in the shadows.
Julia Green winks and takes a slow drag on her cigarette. Her scarlet lips softly blow out the smoke and her green eyes narrow in sudden thought, “Change, Tuesday, change… I can feel it coming. It may rain tonight.”
Everything is the same, but everything is different.