Dave's Reviews > Disgrace

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
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's review
Dec 05, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2009
Read in December, 2009

Let me try to get this out in a semi-intelligible form. This book is powerful, challenging, and left me emotionally drained. But that sentence, especially on a website like this, lacks the real sense of Disgrace.
This is the kind of literature that makes you stop and reconsider the words you let slip so carelessly, the words we've adulterated through overuse. I've had to chastise myself for using the word "breathtaking" so loosely before, because the plot and prose here actually made me stop breathing at several different moments. I worry about using the word "redemptive" again, especially in the facile, warm and fuzzy way I've used it in the past, because Disgrace has expanded the complexity and depth of what the event of redemption actually entails.
I hope that gives you an idea of what this book does to me. I've been known to read too quickly, skimming for plot turns or major themes. Coetzee makes me stop and examine each word, not necessarily because of the language's rhythm or aesthetic beauty, but because of the depth and emotion he gives to each syllable.

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