Aryn's Reviews > Diary of a Bad Year

Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee
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's review
Mar 25, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: own, fiction, non-fiction, politics-or-philosophy
Read from March 25 to 28, 2012

Well, that was interesting.

This entire book is told in three distinct voices. The first voice is that of an author's book of opinions on the state of the world. It really does make the book feel both fiction and non-fiction. The second voice is that of the author himself, talking about his "life" outside of the book he is writing - his actual Diary. The third voice is that of his secretary/typist, Anya, who is transcribing the book for the author, who she calls Senor C - her actual Diary.

The book that the author is writing makes him come across as overly intelligent, smug, and rather douchebaggish. Anya is super attractive and comes across as perhaps not the brightest lightbulb in the box. As the book goes on, you can see in all three story lines how all the characters change, become more open, more intelligent, etc.

It was a pretty interesting way to show how deeply someone can be affected by only one different person in their life, for maybe only a year. Moments from Anya's Diary, where she talks of telling Senor C something, can show up in an attitude or a line from the book that Senor is writing. Whereas Senor's attitude towards Anya tends to change her so that she becomes more positive about herself.
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Reading Progress

03/26/2012 page 25
11.0% "Holy disjointed, Batman! This seems to be 70% non-fiction and 30% fiction, separated by border lines on every page. I'm a little thrown."
03/27/2012 page 121
52.0% "Considering there are three different threads of thought on each pages, once I got into the flow of it, it moves surprisingly well."
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