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Verano (2009)

by J.M. Coetzee(Favorite Author)
3.73 of 5 Votes: 4
Random House Mondadori
Scenes from Provincial Life
review 1: What an odd book. The author writes it as though he is someone else writing his biography after his death. Parts of it were very strange and parts of it were hard to understand. As someone who was living in South Africa in the late 70's I really enjoyed the African references and being able to practice the little Afrikaans I still remember. Apart from that though I guess I was not really enamoured of the book although I feel encouraged to maybe try another of his books in the near future.
review 2: i wanted to love this book. i ended up liking it. the conceit is brilliant: the author wants to write a biography about the late john coetzee at a time when he was finding his legs as a young author.we get glimpses into south african life in the 70s. we see a man w
... morehose ideals differ dramatically from the world around him and who, consequently, seems slightly "off" in his home. is he misanthropic and jaded or is he merely awkward and self-conscious? the portrait that is painted is a collage of various stories, the field notes put together by the biographer, from folks who have had relations with john coetzee.i loved the voice of his cousin. she clearly had so much familial love for him, but also felt confused and alienated by his awkward ways. however, the voice of his married lover is strange, stilted, the voice of a woman who is overly aware of herself. she didn't feel believable, more a caricature of a woman as a lover.i found myself liking the john coetzee of the novel. well, maybe not liking him. he is socially inept, but i found myself cheering for him. the last section, his own notebooks, were heartbreaking and profound.for me, the conceit might have been more clever if i knew more truths about j.m. coetzee's actual life. i get a sense that the book is mostly fiction, which creates an interesting question about the lives of famous people, how the general public feels like they know them based on their public personae, but the contrast is more interesting when it is obvious. less
Reviews (see all)
Kind of ridiculous that a novel with this premise should be so great.
Somehow interesting and original, but quite boring in my opinion.
extraordinary vocabulary and clear writing. very insightful.
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