‘Disgrace’ by J.M. Coetzee

Diddy's Diary

I began reading this novel on the train on the way to meet my uni friends for a day on Bridlington beach and by the end of my return journey later that day I had almost finished it. I pretty much entirely ignored the beautiful countryside views from the train window as I was so engrossed in reading. This novel is definitely deserving of its Booker Prize winning status.

Initially I disliked the novel. Its protagonist, David Lurie, a lecturer at Cape Town University, is an anti-hero who becomes embroiled in a sleazy affair with one of his students, Melanie Issacs. There is no redeeming feature about the affair; it is entirely seedy, sordid and distasteful. From the huge age gap between the two (and his continual references to his almost paternal affections for her despite their sexual relationship), Melanie’s passive behaviour which verges on non-consensual, and worse still, his stubborn and unapologetic…

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