99 pence in Oxfam bought me a Laurens van der Post novel, Flamingo Feather. This is a distinctly odd book - conceived as a novel, it's more a thriller in the heroic John Buchan mould (especially Prester John), except that van der Post has a strong liberal agenda, and a deep love of Africa and the Africans. But this gets in the way, as does his philosophising and mysticism, and his detailed lists of African birds, animals and trees, lists which he believes describe the jungle, though in fact they only anatomise it.
Also irritating is van der Post's confidence in his understanding - there's a real whiff of "I, God, see you" towards the Africans, which is patronising and irritating. But, there's still a thriller there, and it's very much a period piece, written in 1955. Africa (he starts in South Africa, but the action is mainly set further north, perhaps in modern Mozambique) is threatened by a vast international Communist conspiracy, which is run from Moscow, but uses a primitive African reawakening as the instrument of revolution and destabilisation. The fears may have been real in 1955, but they look awfully dated now. But if you see it on a cheap shelf, you might find it fun for a quick gallop through!