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This review is from: Disgrace (Paperback)
A literature professor, David Lurie, working at a university in Cape Town has an affair with one of his students leading to his dismissal. He decides to escape the scandal by visiting his lesbian daughter who owns and runs a farm in the country. While there they encounter a roving gang of thieves who rape the daughter and make off with most of the farm's assets. In the wake of the brutal attack, the father and daughter's already strained relationship becomes worse and the daughter drifts off into a world of her own. Lurie tries to find some retribution but his daughter prevents him and events spiral into a melee of race tensions and a world he can't comprehend.
"Disgrace" was one of the few Booker prize winning books that I've read all the way through and, more surprising, actually enjoyed reading. Coetzee's writing is deceptively simple, giving it the virtue of being readable while communicating a deeper story at the same time. The characters, while distant and often dislikeable, are compelling to read about and I was frequently surprised by Coetzee's choices for the way the story went. This may be because of my limited knowledge of South Africa and the lives people lead in the country there but I think it also shows the abilities of a gifted storyteller.
It's a difficult story to tell but Coetzee manages it admirably and with style and though relatively short at 200 pages, I feel the story will stay with me for a while. Memorable, compelling, and well written, "Disgrace" is a fine novel that anyone looking for a good read would do well to pick up.