Disgrace

Disgrace

Book - 1999 | 1st American ed
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Publisher: New York : Viking, c1999
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670887316
0670887315
Branch Call Number: F COETZ-J
F COETZ-J
Characteristics: 220 p. ; 23 cm

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fpsutka
Feb 09, 2020

I was surpried that this author won the Booker prize for Disgrace. He did not deserve it! It is overrated!

s
smarjano
Jan 31, 2020

If the idea of the novel was to give insight into race relations of post-Apartheid South Africa, then the author defeated his own purpose by desperately trying to be neutral at all costs. The first disgrace of the book (of the male character) is not very original, and we never learn the true feelings of the girl or her family. The second disgrace (of the female character) would be revealing of post-Apartheid if we had any insight of the true motivations of the protagonists, whose race is in this case relevant. All the characters leave the reader rather cold. My favourite South African author remains the underrated Stuart Cloete.

l
lukasevansherman
Jul 13, 2019

"This is not what he came for-to be stuck in the back of beyond, warding off demons, nursing his daughter, attending to a dying enterprise. If he came for anything, it was to gather himself, gather his forces. Here he is losing himself day by day."
For me, fiction should be able to deal with unpleasant, even repulsive, characters and complicated moral issues. I say this as an intro because the main character of Nobel laureate J.M. Coetze's novel "Disgrace" is the kind of "toxic male" who would not survive in the MeToo era. David Lurie is a middle aged professor and scholar, a lover of romantic poetry, an indifferent teacher, a creature of desire who frequents prostitutes and falls for one of his students. They have a brief affair and, as these things usually do, it ends badly. He's found out, a complaint is lodged, he loses his job. In full retreat, he goes to live with with daughter on a farm, where they both are victims of a brutal home invasion. It's an intense, often uncomfortable book, with no easy answers or tidy resolutions. Coetze is a keen, understated, and insightful writer and though it's a relatively short book, there is a great deal about sex, male/female relationships, family, and race (it's set in post-Apartheid South Africa). Along with "Waiting for the Barbarians," his finest work.

RogerDeBlanck Jul 27, 2018

In Coetzee’s most intense novel concerning his homeland of South Africa, he examines human frailty and the struggle to maintain personal morality and sanity in a country still trying to recover from the devastation wrought by the apartheid era. Coetzee’s main character, David Lurie, is a distinguished professor of classics at the University of Cape Town. When he is forced to resign his tenured position for reasons of misconduct, he seeks refuge at his daughter’s smallholding farm in the South African countryside. Then a life-altering event leads him to ponder the consequences of his own actions and behavior. The tumultuous backdrop of race relations in modern South Africa fuels this story of one man’s disgrace and his attempts at redemption. Using the immediacy of spare, clear language that has the power to sting like a burn, Coetzee constructs scenes that are indelible. Coetzee is recognized as one of the world’s greatest living writers, and Disgrace may be his greatest achievement.

s
stewstealth
Feb 17, 2017

A multi layered story of change and redemption. The author is a master wordsmith with an evocative style that builds great characterization with a wonderful narrative pace within great prose. Definitely worth reading.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

A disturbing book, sophisticated, light, and potentially offensive. Though Coetzee borders on alienating his readers, he does a fabulous job of handling the matter with grace. His prose is tight and evocative. Every time a lag is foreseeable in the narrative, Coetzee turns up the tension. Given the book's size and delicate pace, it is amazing in the end how much ground is actually covered.

m
MaryMaryJ
Dec 15, 2014

A wonderfully written book that completely wraps itself around the issues of disgrace; for the disgraced and the observers of the disgraced.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 06, 2014

Unprecedented second time winner of the Booker Prize—Coetzee describes the fall from grace of Cape Town Lothario, David Lurie, and his self-imposed exile on a remote farmstead owned by his daughter, Lucy. The improved nature of his relationship with Lucy is devastated by a brutal attack on the farm. Here is the dawning of the new South Africa with all its pain, guilt, fear and violence.

s
Smartjanitor
Mar 12, 2014

This is a fantastic book. I read it in one sitting. The only other book I've ever done that with is THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by Ishiguro. It's not just depressing. It's about . . . disgrace, in all its forms.

I should add, for people who shy away from books that deal with social problems, or that seem too political, or that seem to be tracts--this novel is a STORY, first. Always a story. Things happen that tap into "issues," but this isn't an "issues" book the way, say, Toni Anderson's are.

b
bigoz123
Oct 13, 2013

I think I learned something from this book, but I did not always understand the motivations of the characters.

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abounas
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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

When all else fails, philosophize.

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