Customer Reviews for

Disgrace

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    A Good Commentary on the Complexity of the Human Condition

    J.M. Coetzee's 'Disgrace' is a complex and moving tale about a middle-aged professor who realizes that his best days are behind him. Like many men who go through a mid-life crisis, he tries to convince himself that he is still full of desire and passion and that women still find him desirable. 'Disgrace,' however, is about much more than a man who simply fears growing old. It is also a commentary on social relations between people: between men and women, father and daughter, races, cultures, lifestyles, and of the social structures in post apartheid South Africa. The novel's protagonist, David Lurie, goes on a journey to rediscover who he is and to find meaning in his life. What he discovers and doesn't discover about life is for the reader to figure out. 'Disgrace' is a very compelling and well-written novel by an author at the top of his form. Coetzee's characterizations and witty dialogue are, in particular, to be commended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2010

    A peep into South Africa politics

    I enjoyed reading Disgrace and took it slow not wanting to miss a thing. Coetzee is a powerful writer who doesn't beat around the bush with long drawn out sentences. He writes with integrity and courage. The 220 pages were packed with grim truth and intelligent potency.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    David Lurie, is a middle-aged, twice-divorced Afrikaner Professo

    David Lurie, is a middle-aged, twice-divorced Afrikaner Professor of Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, grappling with the dawn of old age. Not quite yet ready to throw in the towel, he doggedly pursues a female student, with whom he has an affair that goes bad. After she files a complaint against him with the administration, he admits guilt but opts to resign rather than publicly repent. David then goes to spend some time with his daughter, Lucy, on her farm. But just as he is settling in and putting his life back together, he and Lucy are savagely attacked by three African youths.

    In this Booker Prize-winning classic, Nobel Literature Laureate Coetzee takes us on David's odyssey of self-realization, a journey he seemed to feel too old and a little too all-knowing, to take. As the world around him collapses, and a new post-Apartheid South Africa emerges, he realizes that the survival tools he has all along kitted himself with have now become obsolete and he has only one choice: to adapt or lose what he values most - his daughter.

    Voted in 2006 as "the greatest novel of the last 25 years", Disgrace is not a book you hurriedly skim over, as each of Coetzee's words is bold, potent and very deserving of the readers' attention that it commands. His exemplary craftsmanship, partly stems from the fact that he doesn't shy away from the full exploration of the emotional core and psyche of his characters, never once allowing his concern for the exterior to eclipse his attention to the interior by hiding underneath layers upon layers of descriptive detail, as some authors do. As a result, Coetzee has achieved a piercing elegance with Disgrace; one that raises the bar very high for all future novelists.

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not exciting, but beautifully crafted!

    This is a quiet book, but it was a stark portrayal of two events in this middle-aged man's life that happened back to back and changed him forever, in some good ways and some bad.

    I did enjoy it very much. The South African diction was hard to understand from time to time, but never in an imcomprehensible way. I found myself going back to my elementary school days and learning new words using context! :)

    This isn't an exciting book, but it's a quick read and beautifully crafted.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2009

    Eye Opener--Makes One Ponder About Your Life & Ways

    What a great read! Made this purchase for a college English class and just could not put it down.

    Simple reading and easy to relate to all characters.

    I only wish the ending would have had a better closure to all that happened throughout the book. The ending left me wonder about Lucy and the life ahead for her; David Lurie, what/if anything did he change/better about his life and ways.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    Amazing Writing

    Reading this, I found the topic and content came second to the sheer skill of the author. The writer flowed so seamlessly that I was able to sit back and almost "watch" the plot play out. The words seem to come so easily to the characters and the writer described things so well. Often, I could really understand exactly how the character felt without it being described to me. In the writing, I could feel it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2009

    A quick, but engaging read.

    A living legend.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2006

    I see why he won the Booker twice and now the NOBEL

    I read this book about four years ago. It stays with me ¿above all for the intense alienation the main character feels towards everything. Yes, he has sex with a number of women but that doesn¿t satisfy him. The title might have come from the fact that his wife says he¿s a disgrace because he had sex with his young student. There¿s an allusion to a dog and its nature and a man¿s inclination to be sexually promiscuous. In fact, the earlier edition had a picture of a dog on the cover. And in the book, he puts stray dogs to sleep. BEST thing about this book is that we all see what we want to see. Mr. Coetzee is a true magician.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2005

    Beauteous Brevity

    While Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children' may have won as Booker's best book of the first 25 years, I find it hard to believe that Coetzee's finest offering will not get the nod for the next twenty five years. In a fast moving, and absorbing novel, Coetzee wastes no words (a Coetzee hallmark) weaving an intricate web of complex human emotions. The underlying layers of social commentary further enhance the brilliance of this novel. With 2 Bookers and now a Nobel Prize to his name, Coetzee firmly entrenched himself in the pantheon of history's finest authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2005

    captivating

    This is an incredibly insightful story. With its and deep exploration of the relationship between father and daughter, Coetzee successfully brought out a story that is difficult to forget. The characters are rich and portray deep, though extreme emotions, rationale and impulse. Though quite understated and subtle, the writing is nevertheless rich in so meaning. There is everything to learn from this book. Coetzee's writing style is superb, the setting is ingenious and the pace of the novel is fast and absorbing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    How many levels this book has

    This was an incredible book. My son who is dyslexic read it and thought it was the most amazing book he ever read. The story can be read as is and is a fine but sad story. It can also be read as an allegory for the Whites in South Africa. There is a parallel allegory with the poets Wadsworth and Byron, that the professor is teaching. There is the dog/animal symbolism. And there is many religious symbols both Christian and Muslim. You could devote an entire course to just studying this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    So this is what passes for great literature?

    I had to read this book for an English class at college. Frankly I fail to see why it won an award at all. Dull, emotionless prose, minimal characterisation, a main character who appears to be some sort of mindless automaton... The list goes on and on and probably won't remain civil for long. As a new author struggling to make a name for herself, I find it enormously frustrating that attention is given to rubbish like this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2004

    Brilliant

    I am quite surprised that I read so many poor customer reviews of this book. This was an incredible story and deeply explored the relationships formed by father and daughter. Coetzee's writing is quite understated and subtle, but contains so much meaning in each line. I cannot understand how one could not learn something from this book. In every Coetzee novel I have read, I am speechless at the conclusion. I would recommend this book for anyone who is willing to appreciate the genius of Coetzee's subtle writing style and his integration of the setting. Disgrace is an excellent read that really makes you think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2004

    A book you truly have to think about and reexamine

    The basic plot summary of this book has been amply given in other reviews. Without giving away what I believe to be the real point of the book, I urge readers to, go back, after reading, and to look at the initial descriptions of characters. If you do that, you will discover, as I did that the real subject of this book may be something that is never directly mentioned but that becomes glaringly obvious from the first pages. It is a truly amazing book, one which rewards real discussion with a good friend. In its subtlty and mastery of prose, I think it is one of the most brilliant books I have ever read. Some of the other reviewers seem to have missed this aspect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    Recommended but ...

    Not if you are looking for a laugh or feel-good story. I also read Dusklands, made up of two short stories whose main characters, like Lurie, I would not choose for friends. Still, Coetzee somehow drew empathy from me for these unlovable characters. That in itself made the book memorable for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Wait a Minute! You Mean They Don't Have Apartheid in South Africa Anymore?!

    I think the book 'Disgrace' is pretty interesting. They'll probably make a movie based on it. Maybe Denzel Washington could play professor Lurie. As for the part of South Africa, that could be played by my aunt Rosario (it's a long, or should I say, a WIDE, story). But really, I was dumbfounded to learn that apartheid went away in South Africa! When the hell did THAT happen??!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2003

    Not a Great Work!

    The book was an easy read, but enjoyable I would have to say not in the least. You finish this book and all you leave with is a horrible image of a dirty, selfish and confused man. Nothing changes from beginning to end, he is set in ways and turns this story into a sex crazed middle aged man in some sort of crisis who has failed to ever learn emotions. I cant understand how this won an award.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2002

    Out with the Old, In with the New

    Coetzee's Disgrace is a significant literary work in that the characters, specifically Lurie and his daughter Lucy, exemplify the changing face of South Africa. Upheaval has cast out the old (Lurie, white, of the old school who is cast out of his teaching position) and replaced it with the new, if seemingly unholy alliance of Lucy, who is linked to the old by virtue of her birth yet understands the new South Africa, and Petrus, black, product of the new order in the land. Even the advent of the birth of Lucy's child, a product of that upheaval conceived in violence, portends the coming of a new regime. Bravo Coetzee. Well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    Cast out in a strange land

    An arrogant university teacher has a brief sexual fling with a student and realizes too late that the era of 'no fault' sexual liaisons between faculty and students is no more. Unrepentant, he faces his colleagues and is terminated. He finds his way to his daughter's small farm and tries to make himself useful in today's chaotic South Africa, where social as well as civic rules have changed. Coetzee draws a convincing portrait of a man who grew up with certain privileges and had them cut off--he realizes he is no longer entitled to such privileges but he is still a castaway. Good lean writing and a fascinating look at today's South Africa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2001

    COETZEE'S INITIATION OF OPINIONS

    This book is both powerful and challenging - requiring the reader to invest their own biases and subjective attitudes towards the events and characters that Coetzee portrays so deftly. It is impossible to be indifferent towards this novel.

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