23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Two technically superb novellas tackling challenging themes,
This review is from: Dusklands (Paperback)
Dusklands is a technically brilliant book, although it is sometimes difficult to penetrate. It tackles such themes as slavery, power and the relationship between truth and memory.
It is split into two novellas which, although set in different countries and different periods of history, have many similarities. This is particularly apparent in the way the central characters are driven first to madness, then to perverse acts of violence, towards those supposedly close to them.
Coetzee's prose style in this, his first book, is as sparse as in his later work. The second narrative in particular contains some staggering feats of description and the clarity with which the author illustrates the decline of the Boer frontiersman through illness is exhilarating.
This is not an easy book to pick up and dip into. It demands a lot from the reader, it is at times disorientating and, by the end, it offers few firm conclusions about the issues it tackles. However, it should be required reading for anyone who enjoyed any of Coetzee's more popular later novels.