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Publisher's Summary

After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours, he is denounced and summoned before a committee of inquiry. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy's isolated smallholding.

For a time, his daughter's influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in the country is shifting. He and Lucy become victims of a savage and disturbing attack which brings into relief all the faultlines in their relationship.

By the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and twice winner of the Booker Prize.

©1999 J M Coetzee (P)2014 AudioGo Ltd. Published by Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Nope

If you have a grasp on consent and privilege, you won't be able to deal with the whiny old white man that the story centres on.

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Profile Image for Suswati
  • Suswati
  • 07-07-17

A sombre tale of choices

At first, you end up loathing the cynical protagonist, a womanizing professor, who seems to have lost the will in life. Until the moment he realises the tragedy that befalls his daughter and that some things are out of his control.

The prose is poetic and decadent, but where I find some difficulties in processing is the protagonist's outlook of separating women into the virgin or prostitute category. What we understand is that the main character has actual little understanding around him. Very intriguing listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • patsy
  • 04-30-16

Interesting and enjoyable book!

I loved this book and the narrator Jack Klaff was perfect for the story and brought all the characters to life. One of the best narrators I have listened to. There are a lot of interesting perspectives in the story and I enjoyed every chapter.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Sam Pryce
  • Sam Pryce
  • 01-19-18

Excellent reading by Jack Klaff

This is a very difficult and provocative book. I’ve read it once before and struggled to understand it. However, reading it with Jack Klaff’s brilliant audiobook, I was absorbed much more into this searing and menacing tale. Klaff is wonderful at capturing not only the tone of Lurie and Coetzee’s narration, but also is adept at switching accents. Very pleased, nothing bad to say about this.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-22-17

Dull

This book is incredibly dull... I've obviously missed something as this was on a must read list... nothing particularly dramatic happens to be interesting, kept waiting for a good bit that never came... don't know why all the women on this sound as if they are doped up... don't think the narrator should attempt female voices ever... eish!

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  • barjil
  • 08-06-17

Deserves the praise it's received

Everyone knows that taste in books is subjective, so I shouldn't be surprised that someone has found this book a waste of time while I found everything about it good. It's certainly not a happy story but the author carries it at a good pace and I found the picture of the various people at the South African farm fascinating and convincing. I thought the reader was possibly South African and that his various characters were OK.

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Profile Image for Amy
  • Amy
  • 07-20-17

Not for me!

I'm not really sure why this book has such great reviews...?? completely lacking in creativity and imagination, terrible plot and even worse abrupt ending, not to mention the horrendous accents and 'lazy' tones and detachment of the characters. The people in the story were unlikeable, unrealistic and irritating. The book confused me, there was no real direction, and many loose ends, I was hoping it would improve along the way but it just got worse. Maybe it's just me, maybe my expectations were too high. Very disappointed.