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Disgrace
Disgrace
Author: J. M. Coetzee
Disgrace--set in post--apartheid Cape Town and on a remote farm in the Eastern Cape--is deft, lean, quiet, and brutal. A heartbreaking novel about a man and his daughter, Disgrace is a portrait of the new South Africa that is ultimately about grace and love. — At fifty--two Professor David Lurie is divorced, filled with desire but l...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780140296402
ISBN-10: 0140296409
Publication Date: 11/1/2000
Pages: 224
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 184

3.5 stars, based on 184 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Disgrace on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a well-read friend. It did not disappoint.
The subject matter of this book is not at all easy to digest, and in another author's less capable hands it would merely be an uncomfortable shock to the reader. Coetzee's superb mastery of the written word enables you to become an unseen participant in a world that is as intriguing as it is disturbing. I was riveted by the complicated individuals that populate this book, the equally complicated and sometimes brutal environment they live in, and found myself alternately rooting for or scolding them for the decisions they made. Any writer that can affect me so with their characters is a master. But more than that, the world he creates is so real I found myself wondering what I would do, what decisions I would make... truly broadening and enlightening.

This is the first book that I have read by Coetzee and intend to seek out more of his work.
reviewed Disgrace on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Though well-written, this book is a bewildering look at the life of an amoral academic with whom it is fantastically difficult to empathize. He makes all the wrong moves at all the wrong times, and leads you to wonder, first, how he's managed to survive into his 50s, and second, how he's going to keep it up. The one thing I did enjoy about the book was the look into rural white South African life, which reveals just where the real differences, between the United States/Europe and the "developed" countries in Africa, lie.
reviewed Disgrace on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Intellectual and thought-provoking. I actually felt badly for the main character despite his egocentric, sexist manner. Well-deserving of it's Book Award.
reviewed Disgrace on
Helpful Score: 4
I just finished Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee. It had been sitting on my shelf for a while and on Saturday I saw a really wonderful and moving exhibit of David Goldblatt's photography at The New Museum and was inspired to read it. It's pretty remarkable. It paints a really disturbing portrait of contemporary South Africa. It's not a difficult read, but it is a harrowing one.

This was my first Coetzee book and I was pretty much blown away. The relationship between the father and daughter felt as real and complicated as actual life. Nothing was simple, nothing was pat. I spent some time in South Africa a few years ago and reading this book was such a vivid experience, I could smell Africa. I don't know how in a 200 page book the complexities of such a troubled country could be painted so acutely, but Coetzee has somehow managed it.
reviewed Disgrace on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Unique, engaging, and also sad. Overall an excellent book.
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reviewed Disgrace on + 2 more book reviews
This was a thought-provoking story. I am pretty sure I'd be as frustrated with my daughter as Lurie was. But in the same token, I was equally as frustrated with Lurie at the beginning of the book. So much so, I almost didn't finish it. But I am certainly glad I stuck with it, because its a story that really made me think. How does one react to the circumstances that the protaganist and his daughter lived through?
reviewed Disgrace on + 15 more book reviews
Beautiful book! I loved every bit of it.
reviewed Disgrace on + 813 more book reviews
Lets see. A professor of poetry, twice married, twice divorced, loses his weekly action when his strumpet hangs up her diaphragm. What to do. Hey, why not hit on one of his young students. He does. They do it. She files a discrimination complaint. Wow! But, have I read much of this before? And, by a Nobelist? Shades of Saul Bellow (The Professor of Desire)! A book, copyright 1999, by another white South African Nobelist, about bullroar that was popular 30 years ago. Lets get up-to-date. These days this happens in middle school. So he admits his guilt. Wait though! The university cannot accept that at face value; they must have more. In short, they must have a way of ameliorating their own status in the public eye. So all of this to get him to resign his job and to take up with a daughter on her remote farm. More trouble. Now into the post-apartheid struggles of South Africa. Somehow this fits more readily than the prolonged introductory part. Im not sure that anyone will like the ending, if it is an ending, and if it is an ending, then why is it an ending?

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