DubaiReader's Reviews > Summertime

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
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's review
May 23, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: ew-am-bk-grp-1, 2010
Read in May, 2010

Readable but repetetive.

I have never read any Coetzee but I do enjoy books from South Africa. This was a disappointment, however; it was very repetetive and taught me little about the country, or even the author.
Coetzee highlights a period of his life in the '70s by fictionally interviewing several characters who would have known him at that time. They all painted the same picture - that of a long haired, dishevelled young man, uncomfortable with himself socially. He is repeatingly self-efacing, almost ad nauseum and gives very little insight into the process of 'finding his feet as a writer' that we are led to expect from the dust jacket.
The asides designed to give the interview process more authenticity, eg [laughs:] and [silence:] are extremely irritating.

So, what can I say in the book's favour? Well, it was an easy read - apart from the chapter on 'the struggle', which seemed to go round in circles. I enjoyed the contribution made by his cousin Margot and was amused by Coetzee's stuborn determination to repair his own car - ending is a night in the bush.

Straight onto the swap list with this one I'm afraid.

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