Book Twenty Four


J. M. Coetzee
South Africa

I am always intrigued by the blurbs on book covers.  “The best description of a childhood I have ever read” from the Times, right on the front of the book. How is a statement like that even possible? I know that I am prone to throw the odd superlative around myself, but come on that’s a bit much.

For one thing there are essentially no girls in this book, except the author’s mother who (naturally) features prominently throughout the story. So, IMHO, the story would appeal much less to women than men. Am I wrong? It’s just these sort of statements rub me the wrong way.

I like a good childhood / coming of age story; they can be quite insightful and offer a peak into the author’s life.


Boyhood doesn’t really do much of that. Or it’s done in such a simplistic one dimensional way that it never really reaches out to the reader and grabs then by the hand.

I wanted to follow him down the rabbit hole. Instead I got cricket reports from the BBC.


I dare say that I got more glimpse of childhood excitement and adventure in this photo I snapped yesterday walking home from work than I did from the Nobel laureate’s entire book.


Of course it’s well written. All the punctuation is there to put the words in proper order, but dam old man, it could have been so much more.


Next up: Afghanistan!


7 thoughts on “Book Twenty Four

  1. Do you think that sometimes the prizes are given to books just to make us feel lacking if we don’t enjoy them? I hate stopping part way through a book but I have done on a couple of ‘worthy’ prize winners.
    Well done for getting to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! It drives me crazy! I suffered through some really unreadable books earlier in the year; some were Nobel winners. This wasn’t as bad, just felt it should have been so much better.


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