I didn't think I'd like this book -- it's not what I'd typically read -- but I ended up really enjoying it because it's so well written. The story isI didn't think I'd like this book -- it's not what I'd typically read -- but I ended up really enjoying it because it's so well written. The story is pretty simple and slow-moving, but Coetzee spends a lot of time getting the reader to inhabit the position and point of view of the main character, David Lurie, an obstinate, rather unlikable man with values and opinions that are quite polarizing. By the end of the book I could sense, very profoundly, the changes the character underwent on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the parts of himself he stubbornly refused to change. It also gave me a small insight into post-apartheid South Africa, something I only know about very superficially. To summarise, it's a really well-written book (so well-written that you hardly notice Coetzee's quiet brilliance) with a really simple but interesting plot that is easy to get through....more
Yuck! What self-indulgent muck! I decided to read this book after having read extremely positive reviews in the British press, and upon finding out thYuck! What self-indulgent muck! I decided to read this book after having read extremely positive reviews in the British press, and upon finding out that a movie based on the book will be released imminently.
About 100 pages in, I was already hating it, and now, finally finishing it, I am convinced those raving reviews must have been written by people who hardly ever read books.
The book is cheesy and corny, predictable as a storm on a cloudy day, with characters who unfortunately display very little deep or profound development as the book progresses. It's chick-lit written by a man.
I feel that the author's use of a certain trite plot device, which may have been intended to shock and awe the reader, only made me feel really angry about having laboured to get so far into the book. I don't want to spoil the plot for those who still intend to read the book, but I am compelled to advise you to brace yourself for a cop-out.
Probably for the first time in my life, I am honestly hoping that the movie will out-perform the book....more
The concept of the book and the idea it revolves around is really interesting. A man slaps a child who isn't his own at a barbeque, and the ensuing chThe concept of the book and the idea it revolves around is really interesting. A man slaps a child who isn't his own at a barbeque, and the ensuing chaos and ramifications of that event are explored in The Slap.
The book comprises of sections written in the differing perspectives of the people within a social circle. However, because the significant events revolving around the titular slap happen early on in the book, I felt that the author couldn't sustain it to the end of the book. Certain plot points became repetitive and boring, which isn't helped by the fact that the author's writing style lacks flair and flourish. Also, certain racist viewpoints were repeated throughout that I began to take offence when these views came up again and again towards the end.
I expected quite a lot from this book, having read reviews and recommendations from several sources, and initially I was really absorbed in the story, but became really disappointed in the end....more
I found the concept quite interesting, but I was unimpressed by his use of language and the way he withheld certain bits of information. I understandI found the concept quite interesting, but I was unimpressed by his use of language and the way he withheld certain bits of information. I understand that these qualities were a consequence of the story being told from Kathy's point of view, but I felt that they diminished his ability to tell the story Really Well. The storyline itself was enjoyable enough, even if I found the unravelling of the secrets somewhat unsatisfying. In all, between this and Remains of the Day, I don't think I'll be reading Kazuo Ishiguro again.....more