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Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee

Diary of a Bad Year (original 2007; edition 2007)

by J.M. Coetzee

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995318,604 (3.59)32
Title:Diary of a Bad Year
Authors:J.M. Coetzee
Info:Harvill Secker (2007), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Coetzee, Nobel, South Africa

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Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee (2007)



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English (27)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
There are those novels that just make you glad you picked them up, that inspire you and make you want to keep reading long after it is over. This is not one of them. Given the reputation of the author, this book was extremely disappointing. Part libertarian/anarchist political views (possibly the authors? I suspect at least in part. He tries to get by with disguising them as those of a character in a novel) that are in many ways totally uniformed, laid against the "bad guy", a capitalist without a heart of gold who has a scheme that could injure the old man, and part sex tale of old man lusting after young girl who knows it and leads him on for her own jollies. It is written in the form of a diary (actually, two diaries - the old man and the young girl), which can work but does not work here. And the female character is just a mass of stereotypes, which the author tries to alleviate by a twist that makes her the "reasonable" voice between the two. It doesn't make a difference. It is hard to find any sympathy for any of the characters, or for that matter the author, who is responsible for this pretentious mess. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Jul 30, 2015 |
I found it to be a very intimate account of his beliefs/feelings/aspirations/fears. This is not a book for everyone, though. This is the first book I read for Coetzee and it made me fall in love with his writing. I will definitely read him again and again. ( )
  pathogenik | Mar 2, 2014 |
A special book: 3 stories in one, the diary of Coetzee on all kind of themes, which is a non-fiction part, and the involvement of a neighbour and her husband which are the basis of the two other stories, all readable on the same pages in this Dutch edition.
His personal notes on society give a small insight in what Coetzee thinks of democracy, war, left or right politics, religion and other themes. A bit weird and not always very consistent, which is a surprise for me.
Not sure as well that the "neighbour" stories are fiction which then again is nice as a setup.
Special book. ( )
  Lunarreader | Feb 9, 2014 |
Lots of things one could criticize about this novel. My knee-jerk response is to say: if you wanted to write a 'Minima Moralia,' there's no reason you can't write one. If you want to write a short story about an asshole, who happens to be the ultimate symbol of our time (Alan, I mean), do that. But don't do both and then throw them together like this. The obvious, and correct, response to that though is to say "well, Mr, Coetzee is a novelist and he can't write opinions like a philosopher can, he has to write novels." Touche. But that shows what the real problem is: Coetzee is no longer willing to bother synthesizing ideas, human relationships and psychology. Is this a brilliant theoretical tactic to undermine the repressive nature of fiction? Or is it straight literary-nihilism, giving up on what fiction can be in the interests of what it happens not to be? I'm inclined to think the latter. DBY is entertaining, the opinions are pretty decent (at least the 'strong' ones are; the 'soft' ones are cliched garbage); and it points to the need for authors to stand up and be counted, instead of worrying themselves into a corner. I hope JMC has it all out of his system, because the post financial crash world needs men like him just as much as apartheid era South Africa did. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Three narrative voices shape this book. The first person of a young beautiful Filipino woman, an old male novelist who has hired her to type his manuscript, and the Filipino's live in boyfriend alternate in clever ways throughout all contribute their side of the story. It is not so original a technique, but the way the page is laid out is. The page is divided in thirds. Ou can follow the top third all the way through, or the middle third, or the bottom. Or alternate between them.
( )
  paakre | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Coetzee, J.M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergsma, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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01. ON THE ORIGINS OF THE STATE: Every account of the origins of the state starts from the premise that "we" - bit we the readers but some generic we so wide as to exclude no one - participate in its coming into being.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670018759, Hardcover)

An ingenious new work of fiction from the Nobel Prize? winning author of Disgrace

J . M. Coetzee once again breaks literary ground with Diary of a Bad Year, a book that is, in the words of its protagonist, ?a response to the present in which I find myself.? Aging author Senor C has been commissioned to write a series of essays entitled ?Strong Opinions,? of which he has many. After hiring a beautiful young typist named Anya, the two embark on a relationship that will have a profound impact on them both? especially when Alan, Anya?s no-good boyfriend, develops designs on Senor C?s bank account. Told in these three voices simultaneously, Coetzee has created any entirely new way of telling a story, and nothing less than an ?involving, argumentative, moving novel? (The New Yorker).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"J. M. Coetzees Diary of a Bad Year is about loneliness, friendship and the possibility of love. It takes the reader from Australian democracy to Guantanamo Bay, from the meaning of dishonour to the creative truth of dreams. Written in a wholly innovative form for three simultaneous voices; enthralling, unexpected and deeply moving; Diary of a Bad Year may be the most original work of fiction to appear this year." -- Publisher.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921145633, 1921922362

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