Belsherj's Reviews > Foe

Foe by J.M. Coetzee
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Sep 16, 2008

it was ok

When I think about it, it seems like I should have liked this book. I loved Waiting for the Barbarians. I’m interested in a couple of the theme explored in the book: what happens when the articulate comes up against the inarticulatible and how the ability to shape narrative relates to the ability to shape reality. I should have liked the book, but it took a little effort on my part to push through to the end. I think ultimately I didn’t enjoy the book because I found the story boring. If the prose is good enough, I can enjoy, even love a novel with a boring story (this is pretty much my relationship with Saul Bellow). Unfortunately Coetzee’s writing doesn’t do that for me. This is ultimately a matter of personal taste but, I find his prose to be unobtrusive and serviceable but it is not strong enough to carry the day. If you love Coetzee’s writing by all means pick up the book. If you love the ideas that a novel presents more than the story the novel presents, pick up this book. If you want to read a book that has story that is engaging in its right, you might want to look elsewhere.
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