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Master Of Petersburg [Paperback]

J M Coetzee
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2004


In The Master of Petersburg J. M. Coetzee dares to imagine the life of Dostoevsky. Set in 1869, when Dostoevsky was summoned from Germany to St Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, this novel is at once a compelling mystery steeped in the atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russia and a brilliant and courageous meditation on authority and rebellion, art and imagination. Dostoevsky is seen obsessively following his stepson's ghost, trying to ascertain whether he was a suicide or a murder victim and whether he loved or despised his stepfather.

Frequently Bought Together

Master Of Petersburg + Waiting For The Barbarians + Life and Times of Michael K
Price For All Three: 20.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (2 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099470373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099470373
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,957 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


"Both a gripping mystery and a meditation on the relationship between art and life" (BBC History Magazine)

Book Description

A fascinating insight into the mind of Dostoevsky, as imagined by Coetzee - Nobel-Prize winner and one of our greatest living writers.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stavrogin revealed 11 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I could hear my heart beating in the last chapter of the book, in which Dostoievsky perceives his transformation into Stavrogin. The birth of the most enigmatic character of all of his works is depicted in this thrilling book where Coetzee succeeds to impersonate Dostoievsky without getting rid of his own self. The Russian master could not expect a more passionate hommage than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Coetzee's Best 23 Feb 2003
The Master of Petersburg is high-quality literature, and I can understand why it would be particularly enjoyable for lovers of Dostoevsky. However, for me this was the least enjoyable of the four Coetzee books I have read. I felt too much time was spent on the main character's inner turmoil and confusion, much of it in obscure passages, making the book painful to read in parts. Coetzee's writing is superb as usual, the story is interesting and a number of profound themes are developed, but I did not find myself gripped to the story as I have been in Coetzee's other books.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Knowledge of Dostoevsky, particularly C&P and the Brothers K is essential to understand this magnificent work. Additionally, some knowledge of is personal life will definately leave you less confused at the beginning of the book.
Once you pass the historical aspects, this book becomes rapidly an exploration of the most fundamental ideas, desires, instincts and terrors of the human experience. Coetzee wrestles out the same profundity that Petersburg's Master himself did. Coetzee's stark and ruthless prose has always matched perfectly his subject matter, but in this book the marriage is at it's highest point since 'Barbarians'.
Coetzee is probably the greatest author of ideas living, possibly the greatest since Dostoevsky. This book is a jewel. This book is an indictment. This book is a ravishment.
Coetzee is the reason we read. Coetzee is the reason we fear to read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 5 Feb 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
JM Coetzee is definitely an audacious author. Delving into the mind of such a complex man as Dostoevsky is no straightforward undertaking, but Coetzee carries it off brilliantly. A meditation/fantasy recreation of some of the pivotal moments in FMD's life this does take some liberties with the truth, but that's not the point. Dostoevsky was a true artist working in the medium of the novel, and this book is a piece of art in itself, blending fact and fiction into a mesmerising look at the mechansims of creative genius. I read this and then read 'The Devils' afterwards, and reading the latter was greatly enriched. Coetzee doesn't write straightforward plot-driven novels, they are more like complex dreams put on paper with many convoluted undertones and hidden meanings but they are well worth getting into.
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