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Yawn, though challenging, in the end a boring exegesis.
Coetzee wrote thise stories to read at scholarly conferences. While the ideas behinding them are always fascinating, they don't always work well as stories. They have all the brilliance and not much of the power of Coetzee's novels. I kept reading to find out what Coetzee thought about the issues he raises -- african literature, animal rights. But the characters didn't always rise to the level of the ideas they were discussing.
This book is amazing! While I was reading it, I thought I hated it. I couldn't stand the characters and was truly bored out of my mind. When I finished it, I was in awe. I don't want to give anything away but you will feel like you were rewarded for a great accomplishment if you finish this book.
Trul, Costello stole my heart. Coetzee writes for people with a specific outlook to life, and this work especially is one that typifies his writing. May be, he has a limited readership. and very few people will read through this one, but it is always his previlege that his readers are serious about their reading, and that they work with his mind to bring out a text that is the combined outcome of the reader and the writer.
This is a challenging, grim book, but worth the effort. Other reviewers call Coetzee mentally or morally rigorous. Both are true. At times, I felt defeated by the loftiness and vagueness of Costello's arguments. But the writing is so elegant and spare that I felt compelled to continue. Costello is a brilliant, tired woman and endearing due to her common fallibility. I felt uplifted from the exercise of reading this book.