Clive Algar

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Clive Algar
Born (1942-05-11) 11 May 1942 (age 75)
Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality South African

Clive Algar is a South African writer and the author of four novels, Journeys to the End of the World (2007), Flowers in the Sand (2011), Comets (2013) and The Chain of Time (2015).

His short story Die Tweeling appears in the Afrikaans anthology Boereoorlogstories 2 (Boer War Stories 2) published by Tafelberg Publishers (2012), translated from the English original.

Algar is a former mining executive who returned to South Africa from London when he retired and now lives on his farm in the Western Cape province.[1]

Journeys to the End of the World[edit]

Journeys to the End of the World
Author Clive Algar
Country South Africa
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Penkelly Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 332 pp
ISBN 978-0-620-38334-9

Journeys to the End of the World (2007) is the debut novel by Clive Algar, which is reviewed in the May 2009 issue of Historical Novels Review Online. The review, by Amanda Yesilbas, says that the novel deftly ties the stories of three compelling characters into a haunting work that traces the patterns of violence, survival, and the often guilty-feeling process of healing.

Yesilbas continues: “The characters, especially Daniel Butler, are drawn with a delicate and subtle hand that makes their changes in personality and circumstances seem very natural and believable. The book offers a fascinating look at South Africa and its activities during WWI that many American readers might be unaware of, and the tale of Daniel emphasizes the horror of war and its after effects in a visceral way. This lovely book is engrossing and will leave the reader thinking.”

A review in the Cape Times by Phil Murray describes the novel as "a riveting read" and continues: "The sinking of the Mendi and the battle of Delville Wood make this book serious and austere. But the delicate issues of love, courage, regret and shame make it an honest, authentic novel."

Plot introduction[edit]

Psychology student Vicky Watts travels from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay hoping to discover what happened to her enigmatic great-grandfather, Dan Butler, who returned from the trenches of the Western Front in 1918 suffering from shell-shock.

Like the archaeologists working in the Letterbox Cave (a pivotal location in the story) the novel gradually brushes through layers of the past, revealing not only Dan’s harrowing story of war, guilt and love but reaching back to the foundations of modern South African society when a young Khoi flees the brutality of his trekboer master.

The mysterious cave, near Plettenberg Bay, connects the lives of the major characters and it is near this archaeological site that Vicky experiences her own life-altering crisis.


  1. ^ Ferreira, Jeanette "Namakwalandse blom wat verseg om te verwelk" (Afrikaans: Namaqualand flower that refuses to fade), Beeld, June 30, 2011.

External links[edit]

Reviews of Journeys to the End of the World[edit]