J W Langley
Incredulous Moshoeshoe and the Lightning Bird
Nelson Mandela is about to die. Again.
Black militants and white nationalists prepare for war as a politician’s daughter is killed in mysterious circumstances. Incredulous Moshoeshoe— Goth DJ and part-time isangoma—is hired to find out what really happened. Forced to partner with a tragically uncool white Pentecostal preacher, Incredulous must use his knowledge of local lore, his occult powers and his connections in the alternative scene to prevent a South African civil war. Incredulous Moshoeshoe and the Lightning Bird is like Frank Peretti making out with Samuel L Jackson at a Black Panther rally. It’s Dracula for DJs, Supernatural for the subcontinent. Afrocentric urban fantasy with a Spotify playlist for a chapter list and monsters as fresh as a highveld thunderstorm.
Praise-songs for Incredulous Moshoeshoe and the Lightning Bird
‘Langley’s blend of pop culture, humour, politics and horror is a blast and reading it is to be air dropped directly into a wild world, fizzing with energy and ideas. While the rest of us keep mining the same old monsters time and again, he opens up a rich cave of folklore too long ignored. Recommended.’
-- Peter Laws, author of Purged and The Frighteners
'A unique and thoroughly engaging tale, sardonically animated and richly crafted as only JW Langley can. It's Africa, her lore, and her people, through an imaginative lens of irreverent reverence.'
-- Ashton Nyte, author of Waiting for a Voice.
‘The motto of the Montag Press Collective is ‘Books Worth Burning,’ and Jonty Langley’s modern African folk-tale Incredulous Moshoeshoe and the Lightning Bird fits the bill perfectly. In its brilliant mélange of traditional African folk characters such as the Tokoloshe and the eponymous Lightning Bird himself with a cross-section of diverse twenty-first-century subculture figures, from Goths to racist punk cops, from Marxist-antifascists to Afrikaner politicians, Incredulous Moshoeshoe (what a sublime name!) and the Lightning Bird has literally everything that the firemen from Station 451 would hate. Which makes it the perfect book for you — who follow Montag and Clarisse into the forest — to pick up. And memorise.’
-- Charles S. Kraszewski, author of Accomplices, You Ask?
‘This is the book Stephen King would have written if he was possessed by the mischievous spirit of Douglas Adams, and was also an African, a poet and more than a little mentally disturbed.’
-- Helgard deBarros, author of The Second Skin.
‘This is a terrific book. JW Langley plays with language like a dolphin plays with waterspouts – not many writers could come up with a simile like, “Fat and slow as a successful lion”. Incredulous Moshoeshoe riffs on music, theology, politics, and much else besides. I don’t know whether to describe it as divine humanism or humane divinity. Either way, it’s brilliant.’
-- Mark Woods, author of Does the Bible Really Say That?
‘To borrow a phrase, this guy can “preach like a motherfucker”. Italics mine, because it’s a line I wish I’d written.
The soul-flaying juxtaposition of sun-scoured sand and silver black glitter perfectly evokes the searing unknown and dim- remembered familiarity permeating JW Langley’s aggressively alien South Africa. Like a child possessed by dark and alien things, the novel wears a skin that can only hint at what writhes inside. Incredulous Moshoeshoe navigates a world both modern and ancient, as open as a drawn gun and as closed off as beaten wife. There are old stories here, told in a new and incomparable manner that demands as much as it promises.
A relentless, kinetic tale of monsters inhabiting the darkness within and without, rich with spitfire dialogue and unforgettable characters. Memorable as dancefloor blowjob.’
-- Paul d. Miller, author of Albrecht Drue, ghostpuncher.