Oct 01

Book review – J. M. Coetzee – Disgrace

Book review – J. M. Coetzee – Disgrace


Rating: 7/10

Written by: J. M. Coetzee

Review: Book review – J. M. Coetzee – Disgrace – Well to start with don’t imagine this book is going to be fun because it won’t be. It’s firmly placed in the conflict between black and white that defines modern South Africa. It also speaks on a personal level, mainly to middle aged men, but still.

The main character is an ageing professor who’s time has come and gone both physically and mentally. A womaniser who has one last fling too many and pays the price as his career is burned in front of him. Running from the inquisition that underlines the end of his career he sets out to stay a while with his daughter who lives in the countryside. Unaware he is entering the conflict zone between blacks and whites in modern South Africa. Before he knows it his daughter has been raped and he has been emasculated by an attack on their farm from three blacks.

The book follows him through the anguish and despair of trying to come to terms with his new position in the world. Unable to defend himself personally and unable to defend his daughter physically he transitions from middle aged man to old man in front of our very eyes. Meanwhile his daughter decides to have the child she carries as a result of the rape she endured. A kind of penance for the hurt endured by black South Africa during Apartheid.

There’s tough reading here and there’s tough writing here too. It’s worth the read, no doubt, but not much hope for middle aged men. As for South Africa? In so much darkness its hard to see the light.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disgrace_%28novel%29

Amazon: Buy it

Youtube: Movie trailer