Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 8 March 2008
In this youth memories, J.M. Coetzee defines himself as `twice-born: `born from woman and born from the farm'. He is, first of all, a mother's son (`he clings to her as his only protector'), but `the farm is his secret fate'.
Growing up in a rude and unsocialized family with eccentric characters, with a father who becomes an alcoholic and a mother, for whom `studying is just nonsense' and `children should be sent to trade school', he nevertheless continues to study `normally'.
Through school, he discovers the real world around him: the different social classes, the opposition (and ostracism) between black / colored and white (race), English and Afrikaans (language), and Catholic / Protestant and Anglican (religion).
This clear, sublime, impeccable prose is a far cry from J.M. Coetzee's struggling `Beckettian' beginnings.
Its undercooled, accurate and still dramatic style makes this book a marvelous and moving read.