Alma Nel leaves her home on the edge of the Kalahari to retrieve the body of her gay son in Amsterdam. Driven by guilt and grief, she resolves to reconstruct Staal’s life and the events leading up to his death, undertaking a bizarre quest in a strange and surreal world.
Guided by a coke-dealing Rastafarian, Alma opens a psychedelic can of worms, meeting many of Staal’s friends and acquaintances – scissor queens, leather men, rent boys, daredevils. But not everyone is sympathetic towards Alma, and some of Staal’s friends would prefer to keep their secret histories hidden in the darkrooms of the night. As her quest progresses, Alma discovers that a mysterious stranger is several steps ahead of her, trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle.
The Big Stick is poignant, comical, suspenseful and (strangely) sexy. Two telling compliments from Dutch reviewers give us a snapshot of their reactions: “Characters I’d love to meet in the flesh” and “How can a straight author write so accurately about the gay scene?”
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