Kayla's Reviews > Disgrace

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
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Apr 15, 2012

bookshelves: 12th-grade, advisory, third-quarter

by J.M Coetzee
Paperback, 220 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published November 30th 1999)
ISBN 0143036378

"William Wordsworth (1770-1850), nature poet. David Lurie (1945-?), commentator upon, and disgraced disciple of, William Wordsworth. Blest be the infant babe. No outcast he. Blest be the babe." David Lurie is a disgrace. At first he finds companionship with a prostitute he regularly sees and when she leaves, it's too much for him. He turns to his poetry and his love for love. His lust for some of his female students goes beyond what it should and when one girl makes a complaint, his unsatisfactory life takes a turn towards a different perspective.

David Lurie is an old, lonely man who's so into his work that it's as if he has lost sense of reality and about what's appropriate and what's just wrong. While with a young girl, he quotes poems in a corny attempt at a romantic move and it only furthers the girl's uneasiness. The young girl, also a student of his, soon files a complaint. David then loses his job after refusing to reflect and acknowledge his misconduct and has to move in with his grown daughter, Lucy, who lives on her own small farm among locals. When he and Lucy suddenly experience a life changing event together, they find that they have to cope with it in very different ways.

I picked this book honestly because I was stuck in Arizona, bored, and my sister fell asleep with it on her head, literally. So because I didn't get a chance to read it in 10th grade, I decided to read it. About halfway through the book I realized that Mr.Lurie reminded me exactly of Roskolnikov from Crime and Punishment and the AP lit student part of me kept making connections through the rest of the book. David doesn't realize the immorality of what he's doing nor does he care about any one but himself in that moment. Like Ros, he does something wrong to a woman and eventually finds himself at the end crying to one. Although David may not have literally cried, his change of perspective because of what happens to his daughter is similar to the revelation that Ros comes to when he realizes that killing the old lady was wrong.

I would recommend this to an older audience and although I thought this was a good book it was kind of dull and straight to the point. I think the J.M.Coetzee did a really good job of forming his characters because you could feel the mood of the room or small area.

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