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Comment: Minor scuffing to the corners of the cover - no creasing to spine - pages unmarked
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Dusklands Paperback – 6 Aug 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099268337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099268338
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.M. Coetzee's work includes Waiting For the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.

Product Description

Review

"Coetzee's vision goes to the nerve center of being" (Nadine Gordimer)

"Its unflinching sense of loss, its claustrophobic acknowledgement of the unwilling interdependence of master and slave, and its subtle prose-style, make it an extraordinary achievement" (Guardian)

"His writing gives off whiffs of Conrad, of Nabokov, of Golding, of the Paul Theroux of The Mosquito Coast. But he is none of these, he is a harsh, compelling voice" (Sunday Times)

"Intense, clear and powerful. The promise, so brilliantly fulfilled in his later work, is clear in this earliest novel" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The lives of a Boer frontiersman and a specialist in psychological warfare living two centuries apart are brought together as extremes of power politics in this brutal, ambitious debut novel from the Booker and Nobel Prize-winning J. M. Coetzee.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By me@davequinn.net on 5 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Dusklands is a technically brilliant book, although it is sometimes difficult to penetrate. It tackles such themes as slavery, power and the relationship between truth and memory.
It is split into two novellas which, although set in different countries and different periods of history, have many similarities. This is particularly apparent in the way the central characters are driven first to madness, then to perverse acts of violence, towards those supposedly close to them.
Coetzee's prose style in this, his first book, is as sparse as in his later work. The second narrative in particular contains some staggering feats of description and the clarity with which the author illustrates the decline of the Boer frontiersman through illness is exhilarating.
This is not an easy book to pick up and dip into. It demands a lot from the reader, it is at times disorientating and, by the end, it offers few firm conclusions about the issues it tackles. However, it should be required reading for anyone who enjoyed any of Coetzee's more popular later novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GrandmaA on 10 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very sad and quite unpleasant book, but beautifully written, and extremely original and interesting. Will read it again.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By HORAK on 30 July 2004
Format: Paperback
"Dusklands" consists of two very different parts. In "The Vietnam Project", Mr Coetzee tells the story of Eugene Dawn, a specialist in psychological warfare whose task it is to establish a document called the Vietnam Project dealing with the so-called Phase IV of the Vietnam conflict in the years 1973-1974. To give his imagination a helpful impulse, Dawn carries with him photographs that will illustrate the report. They show gruesome scenes of the war like for example sergeant Clifford Houston copulating with a Vietnamese woman or two other sergeants, Berry and Wilson, posing with several severed Vietnamese heads as trophies. But soon Dawn is driven to breakdown and madness by the stress of this macabre project to win the war in Vietnam. After having been driven to a nearly fatal assault on his child Martin, Dawn is placed in an institution. The text closes with Dawn reflecting as follows: "I have high hopes of finding whose fault I am."
"The narrative of Jacobus Coetzee" is actually a translation from Afrikaans by J.M. Coetzee of a text published in 1762. It is the account of a hideous vengeance of a frontiersman on a tribe of Hottentots in South Africa.
Both Eugene Dawn in the 1970s and Jacobus Coetzee in the 1760s are dealers in death who claim their humanity and impressively express their feelings of guilt.
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