Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian story of obsession and racial tension, 8 Feb 2012
This review is from: Disgrace (Paperback)
Disgrace is a story about Professor David Lurie. Lurie is a sexually addicted fifty-two year old. Unable or unwilling to control his obsession, he has a liaison with one of his students. His relationship with the student is an exploitative one and she registers a complaint leading to his resignation as a Professor.

He moves to the East Cape to stay with his daughter, Lucy, with whom he has a difficult relationship and who clearly carries psychological scars from her father. She has little sense of self-worth. Father and daughter are attacked on her smallholding. Lucy is raped and becomes pregnant by one of the rapists.

The second arc of the story is the dystopian journey of the newly post-apartheid South Africa and the changing balance of power. The book tries to draw parallels between Lurie's disgrace and the parlous position of whites in rural South Africa.

The study of Lurie is an excellent one, but the parallels between his addiction and South Africa are overwrought, leading to some bizarre behaviour by both father and daughter which strain credibility. With such an excellent, if depressing, character study, I felt the book should have delivered more. We have no real idea of what Lurie's addiction is hiding him from. There is negligible context for his, or his daughter's, stories.
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