Book Reviews of Waiting for the Barbarians

Waiting for the Barbarians
Waiting for the Barbarians
Author: J. M. Coetzee
ISBN-13: 9780140061109
ISBN-10: 014006110X
Publication Date: 4/29/1982
Pages: 160
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 22 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Type: Paperback
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2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Waiting for the Barbarians on + 16 more book reviews
One man's struggle with what it means to be a civilized man and do the moral thing.
reviewed Waiting for the Barbarians on + 813 more book reviews
His prose is great; real English. Unlike Paton and Gordimer, he actually uses quotation marks. But for the story. It's narrator is a magistrate at a rural settlement who hopes to retire before the real trouble starts; not unlike our politicians and business gurus. The setting is supposedly South Africa where the {evil} Empire awaits an uprising of the nomadic tribesthe barbarians. The first two parts dwell on the Empire's use of torture and the narrator's sexual habits, most of which occur in the mind of the reader. Frankly, it became quite tedious. Part three is a pre-spring trek to the nomadic lands, rather reminiscent of something from Jack London. In part four the narrator is imprisoned and undergoes the tortureso realistic this time that I might be reading Darkness At Noon, or an escapade of Torquemada. For the remainder of the novel the barbarians seem to be wining and the settlement waits for the other shoe to drop leaving me with mixed emotions about the book.