Slow Man Paperback – 7 Sep 2006
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"Sensational... Another exemplary tale of suffering from one of the best writers of our time, who dares to articulate our incomprehensible existence, and manages it with extraordinary and sensitive eloquence" (The Times)
"[Slow Man] finds the Nobel laureate on top form... A consummate writer of fiction" (Observer)
"Coetzee is a unique voice; no novelist explores the ideas and the power of literature and the sense of displacement so boldly. Slow Man will add to his immense reputation" (Independent on Sunday)
"Remorselessly human, it is also funny and touching: Coetzee the artist remains the complete novelist" (Irish Times)
"A tremendous and startling novel... Coetzee is a novelist who cares about every word. Slow Man confirms him as among our greatest living authors" (The Times)
Nobel laureate Coetzee's brillant account of a reclusive man in his sixties, forced to confront his resentment for what his life has become after the unexpected arrival of a famed writer.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Slow Man has to get the award for "hardest novel of the year to unwrap", in that it's actually more like three novels layered variously on top of each other, and all in a mere 263 pages! It is also, without doubt, the most challenging novel of the year. Coetzee having won the thing two times already and being a Nobel laureate, it never stood a chance getting to the Booker shortlist, but that doesn't stop it being possibly the best novel of the year by miles.
The start is relatively easy to get to grips with: Paul is knocked from his bike, has his limb removed, and becomes one of those who must submit to being cared for. Just like David Lurie from his Booker-prize-winning Disgrace, Paul stubbornly refuses the aid which could make his life superficially normal, (an artificial limb,) and surrenders himself stubbornly to his incapacity.Read more ›
Then he gets a sturdy Croatian-born home nurse, Marijana, who knows intuitively how to look after him without infantilizing him, and he comes to love her. She is a married woman with three children, the eldest, Drago, an attractive 16 year-old boy. Paul does not have, but would love to have, a sexual relationship with her; meanwhile he wants to help her by being a surrogate father to Drago and by paying his fees to go to college.
And then suddenly, a third of the way through the book, this very realistic account suddenly shifts gear. Out of the blue Paul is visited by one Elizabeth Costello, who, we are told, is a well-known Australian novelist. Perhaps there really was a novelist called Elizabeth Costello - but (to me at least) it is clear from her first appearance that the Elizabeth in this story is not a real person at all, but is Paul's inner voice: clearly the italicized inner voice is no longer sufficient.Read more ›
Coetzee loves getting into the minds of cantankerous old men whose staunch opposition to the mindset of the time leaves them adrift in a world they no longer see as their own. This is a typical Coetzee novel, full of his incisive analysis and evocative language; a good book, well worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not like this book. The main character, Paul Rayment, is hit by a van and ends up in hospital having his leg amputated above the knee. Read morePublished on 23 May 2014 by Eileen Shaw
Coetzee is a master of his craft and displays himsel to have outstanding insight and control of language. Read morePublished on 26 May 2010 by Some Bloke
Coetzee's Slow Man begins sharp and dynamic, gripping the reader in the first sentence, and pulls him into the quick sand of his prose, but then buries him deep in a mire of... Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2010 by Marilyn Rodwell
Simply captivating, Coetzee's story line and characterisations are crafted to perfection, every word and phrase is superbly judged with humour and humanity in equal measure. Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2009 by Mick Read
After an accident (`Your missing leg is just a sign, a symbol or symptom') an old man looks back at his life (`a wasted chance') of missed opportunities (`having no child was the... Read morePublished on 29 April 2008 by Luc REYNAERT
It's not first time that J. M. Coetzee, the Nobel Prise winner, has put into the fictional characters in his novels. Read morePublished on 28 Nov. 2007 by NAVAL LANGA
The first 80 pages of this book are riveting. Coetzee's prose is almost flawless as we follow Paul literally from the moment he's hit by young Wayne Bright or Blight, through his... Read morePublished on 15 Sept. 2007 by I Read, Therefore I Blog
I'll keep it short, as previous reviewers have pointed out the excellence of the first third of this novel... Read morePublished on 14 Aug. 2007 by Harry Hay