Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog. How are you all today? I hope you’re good!
Today I’m back with a review for you and this is also the first book that I completed for the OWLs 2019 Readathon (Care of Magical Creatures) meaning that I have 3 books left to get all the OWLs I need for a Magizoologist career. This is doable, right?
And now without further ado let’s start with the important facts about the book before starting with the actual review.
Man Booker Prize Winner (1999)Add the book to your Goodreads to-read shelf
After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours; he is denounced and summoned before a committee of inquiry. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy’s isolated smallholding.
For a time, his daughter’s influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in the country is shifting. He and Lucy become victims of a savage and disturbing attack which brings into relief all the faultlines in their relationship.
Title – Disgrace
Author – J.M. COETZEE
Publisher – Vintage
Publication date – 4th November 2008 (my edition)
Series – no
Genre – Fiction/Contemporary
Trigger Warning: rape (mentioned), animal abuse (killed with gun), violence, unwanted pregnancy due to rape, intimate teacher-student relationship
Format – Paperback
Pages – 221
Language – English
This book was sitting a long time on my TBR and I finally read it. YAY!! 50 points to me! Fun fact: When I bought this book (a long time ago) I honestly thought that it had to do with animal abuse or at least that the whole book was about a dog. But I was partially wrong. There is animal cruelty in this book but only mentioned. Dogs are killed due to gunshots but that’s not really the main event of the story. So the animals play a minor role in the book.
What I liked
The first part I really liked was the fact that the chapters were really short. By now I suppose that you all know me and therefore you know that I’m a sucker for short chapters. I love them because this means that I won’t be able to put the book down and I just want to continue until it ends or gets a bit boring.
The next thing I loved was the fast-pacedness (can we say this?) of Disgrace. The author did only state the more important things of this book and this was great. You have to know that the book is really short (only 220 pages) so I think that the author made a really good choice to not detail the more unncessary parts and write a novel that is fast-paced.
His writing style was also very different. I don’t know if it’s because the book was published in the late 90’s but I really liked Coetzees’ writing style it was refreshing from the writing style of the more recent published books by other contemporary authors.
Last but not least, I liked the fact that the characters stayed true to themselves. The main character knew exactly what he was doing and I think that he didn’t regret what he did and even though the others tried to tell him that what he did wasn’t right he didn’t change his opinion. If you’ve read the weekly wrapups that I’ve written for the OWLs readathon you know that I wasn’t happy with the main character and really annoyed by him. But what I mean to say is that I was satisfied with the fact that all the characters didn’t change their opinion or views of what they did in a matter of seconds. I don’t know if I made myself clear as I can get quite some confusing sometimes if I don’t find the right words. So sorry if not everything is clear for you!
What I didn’t like
One of the main things that I didn’t appreciate is that the synopsis kind of spoils the whole plot of this book. We already know before reading the book what the two important events are. So there is honestly no surprise and for a small book like this one it’s a shame to have a spoilering synopsis. But that’s absolutely nothing to do with the author or this story so it’s really a minor thing for me.
Another thing that I found confusing and something that has to do with the book itself is that I was sometimes wondering if the following chapter was still talking about the same day as before or if some time has passed between the chapters. A time stamp or something like that could have been a bit helpful or at least titles instead of only numbers.
And the last thing is the main character. I knew what was happening and what he did before reading the book but he was still annoying by thinking that he could just sleep with whomever he wanted. The only time I sympathised with him was when something bad happened in his entourage but I guess that this was also the only time I liked him. But again, I find things annoying and you don’t so maybe you won’t find them irritating.
Overall I would recommend this book to everyone as it makes you think and wonder about some things in life.
And that was everything for this review. How about you? Have you read Disgrace? What did you think of it or do you plan on reading it in the future? Please let me know in the comments below.