Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

Disgrace (1999)

by J. M. Coetzee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,452210364 (3.86)601

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 601 mentions

English (182)  Dutch (11)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  German (2)  Hebrew (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Greek (1)  All (210)
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
The first part had the loveliest off-hand turns of phrase that would make me pause to savor them for a few moments. Also a lot of rather quotable philosophizing about the nature of desire and mortality, etc.

Then after he moves in with Lucy, everything turns ugly. It lacks a sense of redemption, which I was looking for, and needed, hence the depressing feeling at the end. I'm sure there's more to it going on, something about the Byron opera and the parallels between the adultery and the rape, but I don't want to think about it any more. Like a few other reviewers, I'm off to find something light and uplifting as an antidote. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
This was my first reading of Coetzee, but certainly not my last. I love books that show both the good and bad in human behavior, and this book is a perfect example. After David Lurie, a University Professor in South Africa, is disgraced at the revelation of an affair with one of his students, he goes to stay with his daughter Lucy, who runs a dog kennel. Lucy is obviously friends with the local vet, and obtains a job for her father helping the vet. Unfortunately there are a great many animals they are unable to help, and David’s job is taking the corpses of the euthanized dogs to the incinerator. David’s gentle handling and respect for these unwanted creatures really touched my heart. Although the ending was a bit of an anticlimax, I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
It's short - a novella really. Full of sparse prose that cuts deep whilst being emotionally cold. If you feel the need to like the main character then this isn't the book for you.
Having seen the film a few years ago and being profoundly moved (/disturbed?) by it (and deciding never to watch it again), the book didn't have such a profound effect of me, presumably because I knew this was no 'happy ending' story. But in a way I was glad of this.
It's very Booker Prize in its writing style and construction. Usually that means I won't really understand the full depth of it without reading lots of analyses. In this case it is enough for me to just have read it - I feel no need to understanding it any further.
I don't really want to say any more. The dust still hasn't settled. But when it has the result will be undoubtedly very personal to me, as it may be to you. It won't be everyone's cup of tea. ( )
  BecksideBooks | Jun 22, 2017 |
I checked this book out because of the title. I just couldn't get into it, I renewed it and rechecked it out just to finish it. It definitely had some interesting parts in it, but as a whole, it didn't hold my attention. Honestly, it might have been too real for me. This book seems to generally be reviewed well by other people, so maybe you'll like it. ( )
  MadelynJackson | Jun 6, 2017 |
Moving story of the slow development of Lurie from exploiter to someone who accepts his place in a newer South Africa. Enjoyable and emotionally demanding read. ( )
  kale.dyer | Apr 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
The book is written with Coetzee's accustomed steely restraint, and is, like all his work, a masterpiece of understatement. However, there is here what seems a new note of authorial irritation, not only, as might be expected, with the perennial intractability of language and the constraints of the novel form, but with the social changes that are occurring in his country, and in the world at large.

» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. M. Coetzeeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Preis, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosková, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Has the adaptation

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well.
Follow your temperament.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
De gescande versie van In ongenade die op www.bibliotheek.nl als e-boek beschikbaar is, is van een zeer slechte kwaliteit: hele woorden zijn weggevallen, afbreektekens zijn spaties geworden en lettercombinaties als 'fj' en 'ff' zijn gelezen als '@' en '='.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143115286, Paperback)

David Lurie is hardly the hero of his own life, or anyone else's. At 52, the protagonist of Disgrace is at the end of his professional and romantic game, and seems to be deliberately courting disaster. Long a professor of modern languages at Cape Town University College, he has recently been relegated to adjunct professor of communications at the same institution, now pointedly renamed Cape Technical University:
Although he devotes hours of each day to his new discipline, he finds its first premise, as enunciated in the Communications 101 handbook, preposterous: "Human society has created language in order that we may communicate our thoughts, feelings and intentions to each other." His own opinion, which he does not air, is that the origins of speech lie in song, and the origins of song in the need to fill out with sound the overlarge and rather empty human soul.
Twice married and twice divorced, his magnetic looks on the wane, David rather cruelly seduces one of his students, and his conduct unbecoming is soon uncovered. In his eighth novel, J.M. Coetzee might have been content to write a searching academic satire. But in Disgrace he is intent on much more, and his art is as uncompromising as his main character, though infinitely more complex. Refusing to play the public-repentance game, David gets himself fired--a final gesture of contempt. Now, he thinks, he will write something on Byron's last years. Not empty, unread criticism, "prose measured by the yard," but a libretto. To do so, he heads for the Eastern Cape and his daughter's farm. In her mid-20s, Lucy has turned her back on city sophistications: with five hectares, she makes her living by growing flowers and produce and boarding dogs. "Nothing," David thinks, "could be more simple." But nothing, in fact, is more complicated--or, in the new South Africa, more dangerous. Far from being the refuge he has sought, little is safe in Salem. Just as David has settled into his temporary role as farmworker and unenthusiastic animal-shelter volunteer, he and Lucy are attacked by three black men. Unable to protect his daughter, David's disgrace is complete. Hers, however, is far worse.

There is much more to be explored in Coetzee's painful novel, and few consolations. It would be easy to pick up on his title and view Disgrace as a complicated working-out of personal and political shame and responsibility. But the author is concerned with his country's history, brutalities, and betrayals. Coetzee is also intent on what measure of soul and rights we allow animals. After the attack, David takes his role at the shelter more seriously, at last achieving an unlikely home and some measure of love. In Coetzee's recent Princeton lectures, The Lives of Animals, an aging novelist tells her audience that the question that occupies all lab and zoo creatures is, "Where is home, and how do I get there?" David, though still all-powerful compared to those he helps dispose of, is equally trapped, equally lost.

Disgrace is almost willfully plain. Yet it possesses its own lean, heartbreaking lyricism, most of all in its descriptions of unwanted animals. At the start of the novel, David tells his student that poetry either speaks instantly to the reader--"a flash of revelation and a flash of response"--or not at all. Coetzee's book speaks differently, its layers and sadnesses endlessly unfolding. --Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:28 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

At fifty-two Professor David Lurie is divorced, filled with desire but lacking in passion. An affair with one of his students leaves him jobless and friendless. Except for his daughter, Lucy, who works her smallholding with her neighbor, Petrus, an African farmer now on the way to a modest prosperity. David's attempts to relate to Lucy, and to a society with new racial complexities, are disrupted by an afternoon of violence that changes him and his daughter in ways he could never have foreseen. In this wry, visceral, yet strangely tender novel, Coetzee once again tells "truths [that] cut to the bone." (The New York Times Book Review)… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
69 avail.
121 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.86)
0.5 7
1 47
1.5 6
2 140
2.5 39
3 416
3.5 161
4 897
4.5 159
5 588

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,325,191 books! | Top bar: Always visible