A divorced, middle-aged English professor finds himself increasingly unable to resist affairs with his female students. When discovered by the college authorities, he is expected to apologise and repent in an effort to save his job, but he refuses to become a scapegoat in what he see as as a show trial designed to reinforce a stringent political correctness. He preempts the authorities and leaves his job, and the city, to spend time with his grown-up lesbian daughter on her remote farm. Things between them are strained - ...
A divorced, middle-aged English professor finds himself increasingly unable to resist affairs with his female students. When discovered by the college authorities, he is expected to apologise and repent in an effort to save his job, but he refuses to become a scapegoat in what he see as as a show trial designed to reinforce a stringent political correctness. He preempts the authorities and leaves his job, and the city, to spend time with his grown-up lesbian daughter on her remote farm. Things between them are strained - there is much from the past they need to reconcile - and the situation becomes critical when they are the victims of a brutal and horrifying attack. In spectacularly powerful and lucid prose, Coetzee uses all his formidable skills to engage with a post-apartheid culture in unexpected and revealing ways. This examination into the sexual and poliitcal lawlines of modern South Africa as it tries desperately to start a fresh page in its history is chilling, uncompromising and unforgettable.
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Coetzee is at the top of English fiction writing today. This a book about losing our path amidst the ruthlessness of class and racial tensions after apartheid. It is gripping yet subtly laid out, the plot depicts the inability of ordinary morality in a new conflicted and resentful world. Flesh tearing, this book is must for those caught up in the riddles of multi-racial communities where moral tenets have yet found a proper place. A must for those who are begining to realize our impotence to overcome social splits and are amenable to spend a sleepless night in fear and wondering....
Dec 16, 2008
Realistic Story Line
The synopsis for this book does a good job of outlining the story. This novel won the 1999 Booker Prize and that is why I chose to read it. The narrator of the story is Professor David Lurie, ousted from his teaching position for having an affair with a student. He goes to live briefly with his daughter on her farm in South Africa. When they are robbed and terrorized, he cannot convince her to leave the farm for a safer location. This book seems to have a theme of making choices despite the consequences. What I liked about the book was the realism of the character and the story. The ending is not a neat little package and the characters were not particularly likeable, nor their motives understandable. It is well-written and compelling, leaving you thinking about the book long after you have finished reading it.
Jul 19, 2007
I did not think this book was particularly well written, though the story does a good job of illustrating how South Africa is still very tribal. If you do not have the power, in that you can physically retaliate or socially retaliate, people will look you in the eye and take your stuff.
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