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Finding Endurance


When Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was discovered below the Antarctic ice in March 2022, 106 years after it sank, the world thrilled anew to one of the greatest survival stories of all time.

Acclaimed South African writer Darrel Bristow-Bovey has a deeply personal relationship with the story of Endurance, and in this lyrical, loving journey into past and present, into humanity and the natural world, he revisits the famous story, wondering why it seems to mean so much more today than ever before.

Drawing on literature, natural history, personal memoir and the stirring epics of polar adventure, this is a celebration of hope and generosity and a special kind of optimism. In the face of self-inflicted natural disaster, miracles can still happen: human miracles, performed by flawed people in helpless situations.

Not all is lost, and some of what is taken may yet be given back.

Review for Finding Endurance:

Chris Roper in the Financial Mail.

One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo

If you don’t choose your midlife crisis, your crisis will chooseDBB One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo you.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey has tried his best to deny to himself that he’s getting older, but you can’t hide from the truth in the changing-room mirror. One day, surrounded by sharks on a small boat in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly realises his midlife crisis is already under way. Running a gauntlet of bucket lists, prostate examinations and sexual misadventures, Darrel sets himself a task: to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and the Greek hero Hercules and swim across the Dardanelles in Turkey. The only problem is that he’s old and tired and lazy and can’t swim very well.

One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo is a warm, witty, eventually wise journey into the terrors and absurdities and grumpy compensations of middle age that will speak to every man and woman who has ever noticed that time is ticking by faster every day.

Click here to read an excerpt.

“But I Digress …”: A selection of his best columns

Gathered together for the first time, a selection from the columnsDBB But I Digress and occasional writings of Darrel Bristow-Bovey. For the better part of this century and the worst part of the last, Darrel Bristow-Bovey has been making enemies, allies and occasional friends with his newspaper and magazine columns. In that time he has received two death threats, five offers to sue, four national awards and a marriage proposal. Over a range of subjects, from television to sport to the difficulty of finding love in the modern world, never saying less than he thinks, never more than he feels, Darrel’s is an unmistakable and indispensable voice in the South African media. All the old favourites are in these pages: Jamie Oliver, Felicia, Wayne Ferreira, the lost art of conversation, Simunye presenters, Christmas stories, lesbians, and the infamous “The Day I Bought My Fridge”. Plus, as a special bonus, for the first time: The origin of Porky Withers and the true location of the Chalk ‘n Cue.


DBB Super ZeroDurban schoolboy Zed (aka Zachary) was still small when his father died, and he doesn’t remember very much about him. Yet some things seem to run in the blood. For when Zed discovers an old wooden box half-filled with comics in the garage, he falls upon them with such abandon that his mother is filled with dismay and foreboding. “Don’t tell me you’re going the same way as your father!” she laments. “Don’t tell me I have to cope with another deluded male who thinks he’s a superhero!“

And indeed: Zed has become convinced that his destiny is to be a “superhero”, in the comic book tradition of Batman, Spiderman and all the others, and this is confirmed by his grandmother – who, ironically, has been commissioned by Zed’s mother to help him get rid of this delusion! He learns the burden of ethical responsibility that goes with this lonely role and finds himself thrust into battle against a “supervillain” in the form of another 12-year-old schoolboy.

Super Zero presents an extremely engaging and moving story of an unlikely blunderer’s modest belief in himself, and his idealism and courage in doing what he knows to be his duty to others.

The Naked Bachelor: Your Essential Survival Guide to Modern Living

In this guide to modern living, Bristow-Bovey points his poison pen DBB Naked Bachelor
at the Naked Chef. The Naked Chef taunts us with an impossible dream of how life could be. Cute! Simple! Tasty! With shiny utensils and a well-scrubbed kitchen and an endearing boyish lisp! And it’s all a lie. The fact is that very few modern men are the Naked Chef. This title is here to help modern men, and the women who love modern men, god bless them. This title is a guide to living as the modern man, and a guide to living with the modern man. It will help you be charming, attractive and a dab hand with the spatula, all without becoming a long-haired girlie-boy riding a Vespa.

I Moved Your CheeseDBB I Moved Your Cheese

The problem with most self-help titles is that they expect you to do all the work. Not this self-help book. This book is for people who want to take no steps at all. This is the humorous self-help book for people lying on the sofa.