top of page
M. C. Bunn .jpg

Dave Farrell is a father of six who live around the world. From New Zealand and England to Portugal and Japan.

Born in Africa, his life experiences on three continents echo through his writing, in his favourite genres of historical fiction, coming of age sagas and non-fiction.

With an eye for detail, you can find him in the corner of a room or sat at a seat in the mall reading people. He has a fascination for human behaviours borne from 50 years of leadership.

Dave advocates for the Autistic community running an online group with over 20 000 members.

More Books by
David Farrell

'A lucid, intriguing, excellent story. It's different ... and that's important.' - Author Norman Bilbrough

The Chameleonis the tale of Rorke Wilde, who grows up in Rhodesia. Rorke’s need to mimic his pet chameleon, if he is to survive the racial discourse in a country divided by apartheid during the 1970s.

Rorke’s father works in the British South Africa Police while his mother is a clerk in the tax office. His best friend and father figure is the family’s domestic worker, Themba Dube, an AmaNdebele of Zulu descent. Whom guides Rorke through the turmoil of civil bias.

Themba introduces Rorke to his nephew Lucky Ndlovu, who lost his parents in the AIDS pandemic and who lives with his grandmother in a squatter camp (informal settlements) in Johannesburg.

The old man and boy share their experiences of a life of poverty post-independence where Rorke learns about the real Africa that he once saw through Panglossian glasses.

A fictional biography that challenges the norms of history. Of apartheid, colonialism, heartbreak, love, and compassion.

Many, if not all of us, have experienced the good and bad in the worldwide diaspora because of politics, greed, and opportunity.

The Chameleon

David Farrell

'A lucid, intriguing, excellent story. It's different ... and that's important.' - Author Norman Bilbrough

Book Excerpt or Article

Occasionally, when you review books regularly, there comes a time when you stumble across a gem that is almost entirely unexpected. Such is the case with David Farrell’s The Chameleon. Filled with luxurious prose that rivals some of the modern classics, Farrell constructs a visceral world for the reader to immerse themselves. It’s a world that is foreign to most kiwis, but is so well crafted that it really is an experience in and of itself.

Farrell tells the story of Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe - centred on the young male protagonist of Rorke Wilde. It chronicles the events of his life growing up in the pre-independence. It is a challenging time for the country. Split apart by the apartheid and witness to racial descrimination consistently, Rorke befriends one of the more unlikely of companions, Themba - the family’s worker.

One can’t help but think of the work of Rudyard Kipling in the prose. It is a lyrical exploration of South Africa and Rhodesia as Rorke navigates the world of AIDS, squatter camps, prejudice, poverty and greed. Hardly the topics of such linguistic dexterity, but Farrell seems to have the Midas touch with the subject matter.

No doubt there are many books similar in premise to the atrocities of apartheid and life in Southern Africa during this time. Kipling of course was not a native but wrote with the depth of love of one who was an ushered in an era pioneering the likes of Courtenay, Paton, Fugard and Coetzee.

The tropes of the notorious English boarding school discipline, and the exotic explanations of the beauty found in the African setting shine through, but with new life as Farrell embeds the images into the narrative so seamlessly.

As a true Bildungsroman plot, the phase of life for young Rorke gives the reader the slow drip of a life lived in and amongst such harsh conditions of those rough years of the 1970s in Rhodesia.

Overall, the novel brims with wonderfully rich prose and descriptions that employ Farrell’s significant array of literary techniques with skill. This piece is headed for awards, without question. It’s a highly recommended read of the season. Its sadness is immense and raw - yes hauntingly beautiful. I loved it.

Chris Reed

More Articles and Excerpts by
David Farrell
and other authors
S.P. Somtow
Donna Balon
Julia Ibbotson
Keira Morgan
Linda Bennett Pennell
Art Wyckerham
Nethaniel Spero
Gail Combs Oglesby
Vera Bell
Page 1 of 12
Thank you for visiting!
Dee Marley

Book your own book blog tour HERE

Get an editorial review HERE
bottom of page