It's South Africa in the 50s, and John is a first-in-his-class high school student with an afrikaner last name in a classroom of English boys. He feels different in many ways. He's not a lonely kid, he just happens to have different preferences, such as liking the russians more than the americans. He's got problems with his father, he doesn't love him, and the struggle with his mother is of a love and hate relationship.
This memoirs soon become a rich-in-details story of a boy growing up in the country of apartheid. There's discrimination for being white, black or afrikaner, for speaking English or Afrikaans, and for living in the province or Cape Town. There are not many hints of John as the future author of 'Waiting for the Barbarians' or 'Disgrace', but the young John is seen going frequently to the public library and even faking illness to read books (borrowed from there) lying in bed. Shakespeare's 'Titus Andronicus', 'Coriulanus' and 'Macbeth' are among his readings here, along with an 'Encyclopedia for Children'.
This report prepared by Augusto Wong Campos