Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book six: Life & Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee

Wow. Coetzee is good. Really good. Really, really good. My brother recently described the movie Avatar as The Matrix meets Dances With Wolves. If I were to employ the same technique to this book, I'd say this was an adult version of My Side of the Mountain meets Pincher Martin. (That may or may not help you.) For Michael K, though, wherever he goes, the war follows. There is no escape.
As time passed, however, I slowly began to see the originality of the resistance you offered. You were not a hero and did not pretend to be... In fact, you did not resist at all. When we told you to jump, you jumped. When we told you to jump again, you jumped again. When we told you to jump a third time, however, you did not respond but collapsed in a heap; and we could all see, even the most unwilling of us, that you had failed because you had exhausted your resources in obeying us. So we picked you up, finding that you weighed no more than a sack of feathers, and said: Eat, build up your strength so that you can exhaust it again by obeying us. And you did not refuse.
Yeah, I'm expecting this pace to slow down soon. 6 down, 20 to go.

3 comments:

Zozopdx said...

I read "Disgrace" and really enjoyed it, but decided no more Coetzee for me because it was so dark. where would you rate this on the "dark" scale? he's a great writer. I was in a book group at the time with a girl from S. Africa, and so we had some great discussions.

Christie said...

I read that, too. Well, war is not pretty and there are several sections where the main character is in "rehabilitation" type camps. The darkness is definitely there but it doesn't grab hold of your throat and throttle ya. Are you currently in a book club? If no, would you be interested in joining one?

Zozopdx said...

if I were up for a book club I'd definitely want you in it! but I decided a while back that I'm way too selfish with my reading time to share it with a book group. I guess I would be in one where I picked all of the books, but that seems slightly contrary to healthy group process? I only made it to two meetings of aforementioned book group. but I need to make that pecan pie and have you over for some pie and smart conversation!