He was a rising star, credited with the success of a major coup in the market, but there was a deeply hidden flaw – a shameful family secret – and when it surfaced his achievements crumbled, dissolving his fragile self-worth.
The context of this novel is the fiercely competitive South African light commercial vehicle market and the brilliant challenge being mounted by the usurper, Ford’s Ranger, on the decade-long dominance of the leader, the Toyota Hilux.
It is also a human drama: a story of comradeship, love and sexual attraction; of the wielding of power and corporate gamesmanship, and of the tensions in the market between rivals brands, the media, and the manufacturer and his dealers.
Mtunzini based author Peter Cleary has once again whipped up a superb read that deserves to be on everyone’s bookshelf: Motor Games.
For this, his 13th paperback in about as many years, Peter has deviated from his normal genre – which is to present fiction in an exact historical and geographical context, with recognisable characters, little distinction between fiction and fact, and filled with drama and heroism on the part of the lead characters – normally a fairly macho man frowned upon by society in general.
‘This time’, he says with a cheeky glint, ‘it’s totally a fictional story, even though it is based on my experience during the first portion of my motoring career.
It’s worlds removed from his first book dealing with the motor trade: Run, run as fast as you can.
Officially, the sales pitch is this: ‘The context of this novel is the fiercely competitive South African light commercial vehicle market and the brilliant challenge being mounted by the usurper, Ford’s Ranger, on the decade-long dominance of the leader, the Toyota Hilux.
‘It is also a human drama: a story of comradeship, love and sexual attraction; of the wielding of power and corporate gamesmanship, and of the tensions in the market between rivals brands, the media, the manufacturers and the dealers.’
The ‘in the know’ might, with insight and imagination, venture to identify some of the people and situations found in the pages of this excellent offering from one of the indisputable front-runners when it comes to South African authors.
Peter is chuffed that his books are not only selling well, but are being read in countries such as Holland, thanks to Amazon and other onlines sales outlets.
The word is spreading – dare I saw, as I predicted it would a number of years ago – that Cleary is a writer who never fails to present money’s worth to anyone sensible enough to buy his products.
Dave Savides – Zululand Observer
A Reader’s Comment
I really enjoyed Motor Games – such a human story and a story too, of humanity. I’m always interested in the working of businesses other than the one I spent my life in – primarily mining and minerals. As a fairly normal male I’ve also always been interested in motor vehicles. And my understanding is that, for the manufacturers, the motor industry is high power and high stress. So, I enjoyed both the technical side of your book for its detail, and for the human interactions side, which bring the characters to life. In my experience there are never many leaders like David Shiloh – at any level in big organisations. He comes across as a very good role model. I’m glad you introduced the Jewish level to your story; we Christians tend not to know much about other religions in the normal course of events. And your increasing use of the sexual/sensual aspects of life glues the characters together; such behaviour is, after all, the essence of life and what drives us for much of our lives. So – and I’ve said this before – I enjoyed Motor Games on several levels. I closed the book, having finished it too quickly, wishing David and Bree success and happiness in their future lives together.
With best wishes,