Disgrace by J M Coetzee

About the book

After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours; he is denounced and summoned before a committee of inquiry. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy’s isolated smallholding. For a time, his daughter’s influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in the country is shifting. He and Lucy become victims of a savage and disturbing attack which brings into relief all the faultlines in their relationship.

Reviewed by Friends of Farnborough reading group:

We thought it was distressing, but also very well written and an absorbing read!

Star rating: *** to ****

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8 thoughts on “Disgrace by J M Coetzee”

  1. Review by King’s Somborne Reading Group:
    An excellent book – tightly written, no wasted words. The fact that it was written in the third person about the first person was intriguing. A bleak book on the situation in South Africa.
    Star rating: ****

  2. Review by King’s Somborne Reading Group:
    An excellent book – tightly written, no wasted words. The fact that it was written in the third person about the first person was intriguing. A bleak book on the situation in South Africa.
    Star rating: ****

  3. Review by BBC Reading Group:
    No one liked the characters but most members thought it was a really good read, especially the many parallel stories and the various levels of “disgrace”.
    Star rating: *** ½

  4. Review by U3A Group 1:
    The author’s style was impressive but the story was not to anyone’s liking and, in general, the book got a poor reception from the whole group.
    Star rating: **

  5. Review by KYC Reading Group:
    Well written – gave a flavour of South Africa. Didn’t like the content – could not empathise with any of the characters.
    Star rating: *

  6. Review by Wednesday Reading Group:
    A good book on all levels, great for discussion. Very thought provoking about human relationships and the future of South Africa in the modern world
    Star rating: ****

  7. Review by Fareham 5:30 Redaing Group
    We were disappointed in this book – the reviews seemed to extoll it but you needed to know a lot about South Afrca and the author’s “clever” use of metaphor. It is bleak in that the characters are not attractive. It was an uncomfortable read but complelling. The title was apt and provoked much discussion. We awarded it 3* becuase it was well written.

  8. Review by Fareham 5:30 Redaing Group
    We were disappointed in this book – the reviews seemed to extoll it but you needed to know a lot about South Afrca and the author’s “clever” use of metaphor. It is bleak in that the characters are not attractive. It was an uncomfortable read but complelling. The title was apt and provoked much discussion. We awarded it 3* becuase it was well written.

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