Diary Of A Bad Year by J. M. CoetzeeDiary Of A Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee

Diary Of A Bad Year

byJ. M. Coetzee

Paperback | November 4, 2008

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about

An utterly contemporary and deeply thought-provoking novel which addresses the profound unease of countless people in modern democracies around the world.

An eminent, seventy-two-year-old Australian writer is invited to contribute to a book entitled Strong Opinions. It is a chance to air some urgent concerns. He writes short essays on the origins of the state, on Machiavelli, on anarchism, on Al-Qaida, on intelligent design, on music. What, he asks, is the origin of the state and the nature of the relationship between citizen and state? How should the citizen of a modern democracy react to the state’s willingness to set aside moral considerations and civil liberties in its war on terror, a war that includes the use of torture? How does the state handle outsiders?

In the laundry-room of his apartment block he encounters an alluring young woman. When he discovers she is between jobs he claims failing eyesight and offers her work typing up his manuscript. Anya has no interest in politics but the job provides a distraction, as does the writer’s evident and not unwelcome attraction toward her.
Her boyfriend, Alan, an investment consultant who understands the world in harsh neo-liberal economic terms, has reservations about his trophy girlfriend spending time with this 1960s throwback. Taking a lively interest in his affairs, Alan begins to formulate a plan.

Diary of a Bad Year is an utterly contemporary work of fiction from one of our greatest writers and deepest thinkers. It addresses the profound unease of countless people in democracies across the world.


From the Hardcover edition.
J.M. Coetzee’s work includes Waiting For The Barbarians, The Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood: Scenes From Provincial Life, Youth, Disgrace and, most recently, Slow Man. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.From the Hardcover edition.
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Title:Diary Of A Bad YearFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.8 × 5.09 × 0.63 inPublished:November 4, 2008Publisher:Random House UKLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0099516225

ISBN - 13:9780099516224

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read this for class This book really ought to include somewhere on the cover, or at least on the back summary: THREE BOOKS IN ONE. Because, essentially, that's what it is. To summarize what I mean: almost every page of this novel is separated into three parts (by lines, so it's obvious) with three very distinctive voices and narratives. The first part, which takes up most of the page (about half, or so) is part of the essays written by (well, actually spoken by, but they're written on the page, so that's what I mean) the main character, the mostly nameless Senor C., an ageing writer; the second part is from Senor C's first person point of view; and the last part, which comes a few chapters into the novel, is from the perspective of Anya, the alluring woman who types up his manuscripts, while her boyfriend, Alan, is generally being an egotistic know-it-all jerk. Essentially, the story revolves around the essays themselves, but the entertaining part about reading the novel as three distinctive narratives is that I thought to challenge myself by just reading directly down the page as I would an ordinary book--Narrative A switch to B switch to C and then back to A again on the next page. Technically, a way in which this novel could be read is by reading through all the essay paragraphs in the chapter first; then all the middle Senor C paragraphs; and then all the Anya paragraphs, just so that you keep their narratives in order and don't get confused. That's the challenge. I'm happy to say that I passed, and was able to give equal attention to all three narratives and keep them in check so that I didn't get mixed up. The story itself is amusing, but probably not to the taste of everyone. I was personally surprised that I got it done as quickly as I did, because, for this semester's novel selections for my class at uni, so far it hasn't really been a walk in the park--in that three of the five books were not to my liking. This, though, the final novel in the course, is witty, amusing, and will have an essay written about it by the end of this month. By moi.
Date published: 2018-03-16