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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Price of Mangoes: Extract from The Unlikely Genius of Dr Cuthbert Kambazuma

The Unlikely Genius of Dr Cuthbert KambazumaNamibiana Buchdepot has released an extract from Chris Wadman’s novel The Unlikely Genius of Dr Cuthbert Kambazuma. In this excerpt, bus driver Teddington Chiwafambira assesses the cost of fruit – mangoes to be precise – and calculates the dramatic increase in the price of this simple pleasure in only a year.

It takes a special calibre of man to slice, peel and consume an over-ripe mango while manoeuvring, with only one knee, the antiquated oversized steering wheel of a battered ZUPCO omnibus hurtling along at breakneck speed. Teddington Chiwafambira was, indeed, just such a man. Untroubled by his motley cargo of seventy or so lunatics, three distracted Mental Health Superintendents and two terrified orphans, he wiggled his portly posterior into position, wedging his lukewarm Coca-Cola between his sweaty thighs. Squinting at the road ahead, he rested his knee against the base of the worn steering wheel.

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