Disgrace

by J M Coetzee | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0099289520 Global Overview for this book
Registered by stephjb of Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on 6/2/2016
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by stephjb from Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, June 02, 2016
Purchased from Totnes Community Bookshop

Journal Entry 2 by stephjb at Totnes , Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, June 02, 2016
I was surprised by how much I ended up caring about David Lurie by the end of Disgrace because he is a very unlikable man. Used to taking for granted his 'natural superiority' simply for having been born white and male, as South Africa changes around him, he finds himself increasingly left behind and ridiculed. We first meet Lurie at his weekly visit to a prostitute who he later tracks down away from her work and is amazed that she doesn't want to see him privately. The University's request that he publicly acknowledge his abuse of power seems to baffle him and I loved the meeting scene where he repeatedly dismisses their demands, giving the impression that any criticism of his behaviour, especially from the women on the committee, is beneath his contempt. I know men who think and react just like this! And once away to Lucy's farm, David's realisation that she doesn't need him around certainly brings him up short.

We see all the characters through the filter of David's eyes and it is interesting how they change as the novel progresses. Women, who are purely seen in terms of their physical appearance at the beginning, slowly morph into full people and I was fascinated by David's evolving fear of the black man who initially works for Lucy. When we first meet him, Pollux is simply staff and to be watched simply for his skin colour. By the end, David still mistrusts Pollux, but now for his business acumen and real power within the community.

Coetzee does bring a lot of issues into a relatively short novel and I did sometimes feel hectored as his characters repeatedly hammer home points Coetzee wants to make. While the prose is beautifully stark and wonderful to read, the arguments aren't always presented subtly enough to flow with the story. However I can see why Disgrace has won such high accolades and would certainly agree that it is an insightful glimpse into South Africa at a time of great change.

See more of my book reviews on my blogs Literary Flits and Stephanie Jane

Journal Entry 3 by stephjb at Westham, East Sussex United Kingdom on Sunday, July 03, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (7/1/2016 UTC) at Westham, East Sussex United Kingdom

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Posted to the Philippines as a litflits.blogspot.co.uk giveaway prize

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