Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'Disgrace' by J.M. Coetzee

Disgrace was the first novel I read by JM Coetzee and, at the age of nineteen, was probably one of the first really "grown-up" novels I bothered finishing. It's a fine piece of work, notable throughout for Coetzee's complete control of the story and his utter lack of bombast, even when describing dramatic and traumatic events.The novel deals with the fallout of the early post-apartheid years in South Africa and shows how attempts to even the score in terms of land-rights and crime may well have gone too far in the other direction. Coetzee is sometimes criticised for having a certain cold clinicalness to his writing, but it is precisely these qualities that make Disgrace such a memorable book, deserved winner of the Booker Prize in its year of publishing, and one that is likely to stand the test of time.


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