Moses Kilolo's Reviews > Slow Man

Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee
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Jun 19, 11

Read in June, 2011

An aging man named Paul Rayment is hit by a car when riding on his bike. This accident completely changes the direction of his life. First, as he has no family, he shuts out his friends due to embarrassment and has to be ordered to accept some kind of nursing service. He certainly cannot make it a alone now, his leg has been amputated and he has said a sharp no to the possibility of a prosthesis. Mrs. Putts, a social worker, puts him up with the first nurse who tries to sing to him like a baby when cleaning his Willie [penis - 'if you need me to clean your willie, you need only ask, Mr. Rayment']. Mr. Raymennt hates her, and asks for another nurse. She comes, a Croatian lady, wife to a mechanic and a mother of three. But above all, she is both beautiful and very sensitive in the way she carries out her duties. Paul Rayment develops feelings for this nurse named Marijana, and soon for her son Drago, and his life gets intertwined with that of this Croatian family.

This wonderful new set up is to be interrupted, though, by the sudden appearance of an Australian Novelist named Elizabeth Costello who not only seems to know too much about [their] lives, but is seeking something that Paul Rayment cannot at first decipher. He learns about it in the end, that she is seeking loving care and for some reason wants Paul to be her partner, a marriage, if that can possibly be.

The book ends with Paul making very clear decisions; first, he cares much about the Jockic family and wants to be a godfather to Drago, and second, when he examines his heart, he does not love the Costello woman and has to say an emphatic goodbye.

The first of Coetzee's book I have read to the end, it increases my curiosity about this magnificent writer I actually loved before I read [if that ain't a little funny] and makes me want to read everything else he ever wrote.
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