The Fall (2020)

Hector, #FeesMustFall protest leader, believes it’s time for the students to think a little bigger than toyi-toying. This creates problems for Noné, South Africa’s President, who wants no trouble from pesky students in the week she’s launching an extraordinary zoo.

So, when Thuli reveals that she can see seven days into the future and Hector’s life is at risk, the idea seems only semi-crazy to Helen, the journalist she tells. But as Helen starts to investigate the sinister forces that lurk on campus, she realises that Thuli knows only part of the danger. The people in power might be more menacing than anyone could have foreseen.

One thing is certain: if Thuli is right, there are only seven days to change the future.

Set in an alternative Cape Town and told by a diverse cast of characters, The Fall is an enthralling, edge-of-your seat read.



Sunday Times: 5 stars! “The dizzying suspense in The Fall mounts from the first line…The Fall is remarkable in giving readers a riot of a time in a book that defies genre – part political satire and history, crossed with drama and sci-fi, united by the oldest story of all, a love story.”

EW Blog: “Jen is an artful writer and she demonstrated her prowess as a storyteller with this gem … this book is a page-turner, entertaining, and a masterpiece. I believe a sequel will most definitely be welcomed.

Die Burger: “‘Dié roman vervul sy rol goed …’n belangrike boek is dit wel. Bepaald vir die moderne dosent wat ‘n roman oor hierdie tydvak wil voorskryf”

Rapport: “Thorpe skryf in ‘n toeganklike en kragtige register oor die staat, die rol van die polisie, kragdadigheid, aandadigheid, die misbruik van mag, vroue in magposisies, en die konflik tussen generasies.”

Goodreads reviews:

  • “After I reached the 130 page mark I couldn’t put down the book … I mean I was hooked, I read the last couple of pages with my flashlight because not even loadshedding would have stopped me.”
  • A fantastical rollercoaster ride through an alternate reality South Africa circa 2016, the book tackles the Fees Must Fall protests, ruling party infighting and other themes still very much relevant today. With a diverse cast of characters and multiple narrative threads all seamlessly interwoven, I could not put this one down!
  • Fast-paced, powerful and cinematic. I devoured it!


Podcast interview with PointviewFM and Nancy Richards, here: “Jen Thorpe’s second novel ‘The Fall’ is packed with insight on activism, journalism, politicos and people. It has its roots in the Rhodes and Fees Must Fall movements of 2015 that shook the University of Cape Town to its red roof tops, but it skirmishes into a homestead in KwaZulu-Natal and the extraordinary collection of weird and wonderful animals acquired by South Africa’s high-heeled, lovelorn and truly awful first female president.”

Radio interview with Voice of the Cape, here (#SpoilerAlert!)

Interview with Mabel Mnesa of Feenix, below.

Read my interview with Bargain Books, here.

Read my interview with LitNet, here.

Read my interview with the Daily Vox, here.

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