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Comrade Baby

by Hagen Engler


The latest book of typings by PE's greatest export after Graeme Pollock, Athol Fugard, John Kani, the Opel Corsa, Jeremy Maggs, the Shatterprufe windscreen, Siya Kolisi and the Finkelstiens. And after Danie Gerber if you count Despatch. And Evolver One. And Garth Wright if you count Uitenhage. And Derek Alberts. And Melissa from Idols. 

"It's like Justice Malala being married to Joe Slovo, except one of us is a white liberal"

Marrying Black Girls for Guys who aren't Black, The Colour of One, and other learnings on the path from white privilege to the Benoni taxi rank. Hagen Engler gains perspective on blackness, whiteness, drunkness, punkness, the Eastern Cape, Robot Guys and the resilience of his cushion-sized liver, as South Africa evolves from a gnomes's lair to a proper country with equal rights and opportunities for all-time cock-ups, poetry, depravity and hedonistic benders like you've never seen.

A book of columns for Sunday Times, Mahala, Weekend Post, That's How It Is and elsewhere, mixed in with poems, rhymes and lyrics brought on by Comrade Baby and the South African condition.


For a sample of what's inside, check here and here, or even here.

The book is Hagen Engler's sixth. It is, always an independent Pocket Assegai Publication and a document of a decade of South African-ness. It makes a sweet gift for any South Africans in touche with their own ridiculousness and who aren't afraid of a little bit of swearing.

"A compelling pastiche of South African craziness that somehow, magically, passes as a survival guide to travel, multiracial dating and other South African adventures" – The Daily Maverick

"The wit and humour of author Hagen Engler left me awestruck" – Qaanitah Hunter, The New Age

"Hagen Engler is one of South Africa's most under-recognised great writers. Obervant, witty, sacriligeous, and highly original... " – True Love

Purchase your piece of authentic contemporary South Africana by mailing hagen@hagenshouse.com.

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Life's A Beach

by Hagen Engler

"At home people are running around screaming in Peruvian with suitcases they haven't closed properly, so there are clothes on the floor everywhere – like everyone's in standard eight watching porn at some guy's house and his mom's just got home. Big trouble. I take the three essentials: surfboard, passport and sunglasses, and run up the nearest hill to watch the apocalypse..."

Hagen Engler shows off his PE-ness in all its surf-starved glory. Share the mild psychoses and minor outrages of a Friendly Citizen who's survived tidal waves, twenty-firsts and Nude Girls gigs, and was once almost in an orange juice ad. Gasp! Marvel! Smirk! Chart a bizarre ocean fixation – from the Plettenberg Bay shallows to the North Shore of Hawaii, from the Rink Street Kwikspar to his ex-girlfriend's house in Blairgowrie...

Essential reading for anyone who's about to go to the bathroom.


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Water Features

by Hagen Engler

"Large grey '72 kombi, seven surfboards on the roof, demanding my presence inside it, hollering, "How much do the tangerines cost? Quanto custa istu tangerinas?" And its bearded driver decoding the subtext of "Let's hit it, ek se," while the chemist lady gives me the gaff on the Larium side-effects. "Some people  have very vivid dreams..."

So begins a twisted, water-fuelled surf trip through Mozambique, Elvis worship, rave culture, the Transkei and the politics of Glad Eye. We're all 90% water, walking water features, which explains the popularity of everything from porn fetishes to Port Elizabeth's Pipe parking lot. The gender sweat differential, though, continues to baffle.

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Magnum Chic

by Hagen Engler

"Was Magnum Chic truly the wave of the future? Would women find men wearing Millennium Moustaches irresistible? Are the tan safari suit and the nickname Higgy Baby due for a return to colloquial popularity? All of these questions had to be answered before I could truly make any sincere claim to fashion clairvoyance."

Join a search for meaning in South African life as Hagen Engler grows a dodgy moustache, visits Springbok, imagines his lovers are cement mixers and eats chicken. Magnum Chic is an collection of columns and articles chronicling the surreal months straddling the millennium. Entire cities are offended, mountains are climbed, sex is had and what emerges is an album of hilarious prose snapshots – digestible chunks of South Africana.

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Greener Grass

by Hagen Engler

"But that fateful morning, Joe never got to perform his forward-leaning roach flick, because Destiny had been out raving and she was walking home through Clampett Park. 'Aah, please don't put that out,' she said. She was Layla, and she was the Rave Queen of PE."

Hagen Engler's first novel weaves together the lives of a group of goofballs into a hazy, impressionistic narrative as they search for life, love, a proper graft and a spot to stay in the New SA. They find that while the grass may be greener on the other side, it's cheaper at home. Soon to become motion picture...


"It's a pleasure to read Engler's first novel... he writes believable, funny dialogue. Particularly that of the slackers, ghoefballs and ravers who are just as blase and matter-of-fact about their drug use as real-life drug users are." – Alyn Adams, FHM






Buttons For Gaia

by Hagen Engler

As a chaperone in the Cape Town movie industry, Wax Wilson can organise you anything. But when the pagan high priestess he's fallen for is abducted from a wedding at the Llandudno Lifesaving Club, things hit a wobbly. Then the German film crew he's looking after demands mandrax and a part-time porn queen starts making googly eyes at him. Pretty soon he's consorting with gangsters, getting stabbed one-time in the shoulder, and being kidnapped by a satanic sex cult Next thing, seven people are dead, and it looks like Wax killed them. As things get more and more hectic, Wax finds himself on a mission of dark vengeance in magical, mysterious Berlin...


"It's hardcore, it's heavy, and it's also frikkin' funny. And as much as you don't want to sometimes, you just can't stop turning the pages. Not for the faint-hearted." – Zigzag


2 comments:

Dan Scheffler said...

Hey, I bought Comrade Baby on Smashwords. Looking forward to reading it. Why not put your other books on too?

Dan Scheffler

Hagen Engler said...

Thanks Dan! Glad you liked the sample and bought the book. I'll get busy on loading those other ones one there. H