Ben Oliver


Black Sugar

11 March 2023

A pirate gets stranded quite far in-land, and dies with his treasure. Years later a young man hears of the legend and visits the area to try and find it.

A (very) short novel that packs in tales of treasure, family and industrialisation along with some pithy but effective character studies.

Bonnefoy tells an epic tale in just a few short chapters, making me feel less guilty about when my reviews are too short.

Black Sugar goes hard on intricate detail, building a vivid vignette before fast-forwarding through decades of plot and moving onto the next one. You’ve seen it all before I’m sure, but rarely does this style work so well.

A little gem.

Translated into English by Emily Boyce

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