Waiting for the Barbarians Hardcover – 27 Oct 1980
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"A story of profound beauty, clarity and eloquence, which even at its most melodramatic holds to a biblical nobility".
-- CHICAGO TRIBUNE BOOK WORLD
"A real literary event" --Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review (front-page review)
"I have known few authors who can evoke such a wilderness in the heart of a man.... Mr. Coetzee knows the elusive terror of Kafka." --Bernard Levin, The Sunday Times (London)
"A real literary event" Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review (front-page review)
"I have known few authors who can evoke such a wilderness in the heart of a man.... Mr. Coetzee knows the elusive terror of Kafka." Bernard Levin, The Sunday Times (London)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘A remarkable and original book’ Graham Greene --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The narrator is a lonely magistrate in a frontier town who, though far from the centre of the oppressive state security apparatus, is complicit in its existence by administering its laws (and abusing his position by frequent sexual dalliances with vulnerable women). It doesn't take participation, just indifference, a blind eye. Although always uneasy about his role in the system, he continues as benignly as possible in order to lead a quiet life. It is only on the arrival of a group of interrogators, and having witnessed their arbitrary and brutal methods, that he instinctively rebels. At one point a girl is invited to pick up a rod and beat a prisoner in the yard. `You are depraving these people!' he shouts. He is thus branded an enemy of the state and a `barbarian lover' and committed to prison and subjected to a regime of humiliation and degradation. The breathless tension that follows is extraordinary at times.
All tyrannies survive on a diet of rumour, propaganda and lies, and eventually lose touch with reality and fall.Read more ›
Coetzee is the greatest master of transporting the reader into the terrifying empty spaces within himself and laying them out vivisected and exposed.
If you fear to know yourself, never read him. John Coetzee reveals truths that perhaps no one should want to know, but every soul contains. A fearless writer, a ruthless analyst, and probably one of the greatest living men of thought.
Coetzee is, quite simply, the greatest living author, and possibly they best since Dostoevsky.
It is a book for someone who wants to remain thinking about the subject once they have finished reading.
All Coetzee's books are extremely well crafted so a pleasure to read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I will not claim to understand all that the Coetzee is trying to say in this novel, but I think he is examining the nature of civilisation, the complexities of the human condition... Read morePublished 3 months ago by H Johnson
This was a science fiction book with a difference as it felt as though it was set in the past. It is a wonderful story, beautifully told but is harrowing with the detail. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kathy England
Not one unnecessary sentence, not one wasted word. A masterpiece.Published 11 months ago by D. Waterfield
A metaphor about power and complicity with an oppressing regime. A man in a philosophical crisis of conscience. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ivy