By Hidayat Adams
& Other Short Stories
This anthology of 26 tales is tailored for those readers who don’t like to read lengthy short stories, or who don’t like to read. Period.
Perfect to read anywhere, any time.
Articles by Author
I wrote my first story in October 2002 when I was teaching in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The story was a response to the claim of an American colleague, Eric Ennis, who believed that Americans are the best writers, and that South Africans can’t write very well. Granted,...
Having self-published my book of short stories has exposed me to professional jealousy to such a degree that I’ve had to categorise it in Levels and Types. I admit that this might seem facetious or ridiculous to some, but I know there are others who will know exactly...
A Delightful Book
Review by Chernay S. Harley (BA; PGCE)
Education Specialist, College of Cape Town
What a delightful book filled with easily readable tales that speak candidly and vividly with much humour of the human condition. It is relatable as it is set in our South African context.
The book is a lovely seaside read or a warm winter’s day’s cuddle-up read. Mamlambo will keep you enraptured by introducing you to colourful characters and interesting encounters.
I found it really hard to put this book down as I kept wanting more! I sincerely hope this is not the author’s last attempt!
I am looking forward to the next short story collection or first novel! I will definitely be recommending these stories to my students who are lazy readers. I have already planned to incorporate some of the stories in the book into my reading lessons.
Mamlambo should be on every bookshelf in every bookshop in the world.
Review by Sadiq Keraan (BBibl. Honours – UCT; BA Honours – UNISA)
I found Mamlambo and Other Short Stories a pleasant enough read. The stories are very well written. I find they do lack a traditional narrative arc (in their ‘sudden’ endings), but they remain entertaining.
I think the stories are a good introduction for a younger crowd wanting to learn how to write.
I trust the author will continue to do justice to his talent.
A Rattling Good Read
Review by: Gail Pool – BA (English); HDE; BA Honours (Psychology) – published author and teacher of English.
Refreshing, fun, insightful and clever describe this great anthology of short stories. Each one is fast paced, well thought out and entertaining.
I generally found the stories easy to read, but satisfying: some playful, some serious, some funny, all charming, with suitably expressive and appropriate illustrations. The stories soon have the reader involved – the dialogue is realistic enough to have one really feel part of the action. The narrative structure is simple and the stories are short, which make this anthology perfect for the young reader who struggles to sustain attention.
‘Trapped’ shows great insight into the autistic mind, but is expressed in easy and accessible language. ‘The Day of Disaster’, about disorganised Henry and his sneaky cat had me amused, and ‘Unmasked’ had me laughing out loud, which I very rarely do.
‘Never on a Monday’ is a little creepy and freaky, which contrasts well with the comedic and more serious tales. An authentic South African flavour is injected into the anthology in ‘Repent at Leisure’ and a number of other stories, and we finish off with science fiction in ‘Monstrous’. So there is something for everyone.
It was a wonderful idea to arrange the stories from shortest (really very short) to longest: a great strategy for getting your reluctant reader hooked on the stories, or as a teaching strategy. And even the longest story remains a short one!
Although this set of stories, in the author’s words, is geared to the reluctant reader, I, as the classic bookworm, thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
I trust and hope that the talented author will continue to delight us in the future.
Never On a Monday
This time, the shapeless figure became clearer, and it resembled a giant, hulking and menacing man in a pitch black coat. When I saw the apparition, the elevator had just reached my floor and I scrambled out of it in pure terror. As I closed the apartment door, I saw fingers with long nails curling around the edges of the elevator door as it was closing. That night I didn’t sleep a wink.
The next morning I once again ventured into the elevator, filled with a rush of trepidation and petrifying fear as the doors slowly closed, but I saw no black shadow.
As I reached the ground floor and the doors slid open ever so slowly, I distinctly and unmistakably heard the softest exhalation of breath next to my left ear. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my flesh goose-pimpled. I practically fell out of the elevator in my desperation to flee. I looked back in white-eyed horror at the closing elevator doors, but saw nothing inside the cab. Had I been mistaken, after all?
… A Spade
He was in his late twenties and quite popular among his female students because of his looks. He had a light complexion, was taller than the average man and had a slim, lithe body. His premature baldness only seemed to add to his looks, making him more desirable for some mysterious reason to most of his female learners. (Perhaps it was because he had the Vin Diesel look: shiny, shaved head.) It also helped that he was a natural flirt and could be as charming as a cute baby.
In his first meeting with the invigilation team, he handed out a sheet of instructions. “I am the Head Invigilator,” he stated in an emphatic tone. Each time he used the word “I”, he stressed and uttered it as if it meant “king” or “lord”.
“I expect all of you to adhere to the spelled out instructions to the letter. I do not want any of you to come to me when something goes wrong and claim that you didn’t know what to do.”
As he carried on lording it over the lecturers, the atmosphere became charged with resentment and hostility as they bristled with indignation.
Ameer was oblivious to all of this, as he was too focused on the mesmerising sound of his own voice, like a donkey caught up in his own echoing brays.
The lecturers looked at each other and as one, they became united in their dislike of the upstart. Nomhle especially took offence to his manner and bided her time for revenge.
Bullied Into It
When I was eleven, I met my first bully. He was taller than me, clever and very mean. However, everyone else thought he was a sweet child with very good manners. No one believed me when I told them that he was bullying me every day after school.
The bullying started with small, seemingly unimportant things like name calling, or sniggering whenever I entered the classroom. Soon it escalated and became open taunting. Derek would come up to me when I was alone and say insulting, humiliating things to me.
You see, he thought I was a weak victim who would be intimidated by him, but he was very wrong. I had been taught by my father to stand up for myself and to be confident, therefore Derek’s taunts meant nothing to me. However, when he became violent I knew it was time for a decisive confrontation.
It happened about two months after the bullying first started. Derek found me walking home alone one day and thereafter, he followed me every day. At first he kept his distance, but one day he suddenly appeared in my path and said, “You’re a useless piece of nothing. Why don’t you do all of us a favour and kill yourself?”
He had a menacing expression on his face and his words dripped with venom. I was surprised, but then I stepped right up to him and said, “People like you make this beautiful world a living hell, but people like me know you for the demon you are!”
He was visibly shocked and stepped back a few paces from me. Then he turned around and walked off.
The next day at school, Derek steered clear of me. He had seen the iron in my veins and he knew I was no victim.
I met my second bully when I entered high school. He was a bully of another shade, one far more insidious and much more of a threat than poor old Derek. He deceived me into thinking he was a true friend, and when my walls were down and I was vulnerable, he struck like the hidden Serpent in the Garden.
Buy The Book
Delivered or posted to your front door
These stories were written with reluctant or weak readers in mind. Thus, the first few stories are quite short to encourage these readers to continue. The stories can, of course, be read in any order, but I have arranged them from the shortest (368 words) to the longest (over 4000 words).
The stories are also for those of us who dislike unnecessary details or elaborate descriptions in a tale, and just want a story to get to the point within a few pages and not waste any time about it. I have endeavoured to do this as much as I could with these tales by being concise and setting a fast pace.
It was a delight to write each and every story in this book; I can only hope and pray that you, Dear Reader, will find them delightful, too.
Thank you for granting your precious time to my stories and me. I trust that I will not disappoint…