Sunday, 2 August 2009

Ayyo, Zillion come back with his wrong-place ripped!!!!!!


I am back after a short, Kutti ( small in mallu) break. It wasn’t a break, and i had no say in the break. I was on a hectic trip, which was hectic and kick-ass. It was kick-ass, bcoz my ass was figuratively getting kicked, if not quite literally. Sorry, for the unparliamentarily usage of certain cuss words, but my trip would have been confrontational for the most staunch parliamentarians of any era.

And my ass-kicking aint over yet. I have to make a PP presentation, which is a tad more meaningful per se , to the above mentioned cuss word. BTW, i had a round trip of the world, From Bahrain-Dubai-Doha-Istanbul-back to Bahrain, if you call this round the world, though it was nothing short of a world trip by its sheer displeasure.


The best thing that happened in my life, during this short trip, was that I walked into the duty-free shop and stumbled over this book called Disgrace, by Nobel Price and twice Booker prize winner J.M.Coetzee. In fact, this particular book won the 1999 booker, which i wasn’t aware of, until i Wikipedia-ed his name.

Those of you who have read J.M Coetzee may ignore this, but if you haven’t , then you should sprint, and grab it at the available shortest moment of time. Go grab a book by this writer and though i wont say that your life would be changed for ever, it certainly would make a lasting impression on you.

If i have frightened you by mentioning Nobel and Booker prizes, then i must say that he is one of the easiest to read writers; by Salman Rushdie Standards, but i would say he falls even below in the readability factor, even easier than V.S Naipaul to show comparisons. The book has subtle philosophical jaunts, that are highly tangible and the narrative has a thriller like gripping quality. Said that, i would add that it would help, if one stops and shows some respect to the philosophical contend and not merely read like any thriller.

The first thing i noticed about the book was the narration, which throughout the book was in the present-tense, as if the story is unfolding at the very moment that the reader is reading. The plot is unique. Its about a professor, David Lurie, who is twice divorced: seduces one of his students. And doesn’t do much to protects himself from its consequences. The girl, though gives in willingly, later makes a racket owing to her own personal troubles, and the Professor who is in his 50s and has a 25 year old daughter, is disgraced. The college forms an inquiry committee, but the professor accepts all the charges without any opposition, is dismissed and leaves the city. He drops in at his daughters farm and starts living with her.

An extract is added below to give an example of subtle philosophies the book is filled of.:

He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is in the world. The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest lessons, while those who come to learn nothing. It is a feature of his profession on which he does not remark to Soraya. He doubts there is an irony to match it in hers.

Suraya is a prostitute that he was frequenting, and her leaving the town and refusing to meet him further leads him towards the main event of the story, the instance when he seduces his student, Melanie Isaac.



He starts helping her in her farm and starts to get to his usual life, comes to harmonizing terms with his newly attained life. But the harmony and peace lasts for a short time and the farm and their house is attacked by a gang of 3 raucous attackers, who ransack the place, pour spirit over David and sets him on fire. His daughter Lucy is raped. Professor escapes with burns and his daughter is traumatized.
The later part of the story is that of coming to terms with a disgraced life and the trauma of violence, the transfer of power the country is going through, post- apartheid, and the after effects, leading to the differences in the lives of South African Junta. The story is also about the change in relationships; trauma and violence that leads to it and the surviving instincts of humans. The evident philosophy and inner profundity of the novel is of Disgrace, redemption, extreme alternations of relations in tensions , salvation and ruin.

NOTE: I didn’t yawn even once, and on the contrary, couldn’t keep the novel aside, other than to eat, sleep, and few other things not worth mentioning.

I don’t know why my interest in literature has accrued certain deviations oflate, and it seems to be variable and parabolic towards terrorism, politics and political vandalism; and converse survival resists of the poor, and also sadly benevolent , but i undoubtedly enjoyed this book. I vastly vouch for Mr. Coetzee, though i have a speck of bias towards Naipaul. It May be bcoz i havet yet read the best of Coetzee, which i very well plan to, in immediate future.

J.M.Coetzee has inched into my favourite writers league, the league in which Naipaul and Rushdie dwell , and i look forward to more of his books, especially Life & Times of Michael K.


I highly recommend this book and the writer.Alas, sadly the book had only 210 (roughly) pages which got turned in much shorter time, much too shorter for a $ 12.8 book.



Ciao all.



38 comments:

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Coetzee is one of those writers i have been wanting to read for a long long time. He is deservedly famous. Your strong recommendation will definitely push me to get out, buy and read this book and others by Coetzee.

Rahul Anand said...

Nice, will check out one of Coetzee's books soon. Rushdie happens to be my favorite writer as well, the way he takes you places is really mystical. Haven't read Naipaul yet though.

Aparna said...

Will try him out . Currently reading Vikram Seth's 2 lives.
Welcome back. How was Istanbul? I want to go to that country. Did you take any pictures?

Smita said...

Welcome back after the break :-)

Not heard of this author but may be will try him out. Right now am deep into "The Time Traveler's Wife" which is an awesome read!!! And then I have a huge backlog of books to finish!!! recently went for book shopping u see ;-)

Neha said...

welcome back ZB...I thought you would be back with a bang, but a book will also do..:) will surely read ths one...i couldnt continue "to kill a mocking bird" as this is not the right time for me to give it full justice...really liked whatever i read though...so have switched to a fiction "playing for pizza"..

will surely try out "disgrace" as soon as i find a copy..tc :)

kavita said...

Yes,welcome back ZB...making a note of all the books you recommend here.....great review .

Gayathri said...

OMG you had been to istanbul?!! i feel jealous!! thats one of the few places i had always wished to visit owing to its historical importance..!!
and you finished reading the book so fast?! nice..and btw,your writing style is inching forward to excellence with every post..

sujata said...

I will try to get the book at the earliest!! The story seems very interesting. Great to have you back, what happened to your previous post'Disobeyed Commands' cant be viewed

Zeba said...

HEY!!!

That is around the world for me. Since you started and ended at Bahrain!!! Hehe...

Nice book. Will surely give it a read and let you know what I thought of it!!

So how r u doing??

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Sucharita: He is one of the greatest writers alive, probably in the league of Samuel Beckett , james Joyce or hemingway. Read his books, you would love it. Thanks :)

@Rahul: Read Naipaul. it would be incomplete without reading him. Thanks :))

Gymnast said...

Sounds Nice , ZB , will check out soon. Now a days finding twenty four too less for a day - Final year is little too hectic.

Lucky you managing time to read !

Sigh.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Aparna: Istanbul is great, one of the must visit places, old world and yet contemporary. I reached in the evening and next day after i was out of it. Just a small meeting is all i had there, but been to this place many times. I have a picture of the hotel and few i clicked on my mobile phone. :))

@Smita: Humm, even i have a backlog of books, but even then i end up buying more. include this writer in your next shopping list. you would love it. :))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Neha: Thanks buddy, Mockingbird is one of the most famous and lovely books of 20th century. I just dont get enough of reading it. I will read it once again soon. Ya, books need to be read at leisure esp mockingbird. TC:))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Kavita: Thanks, glad to hear that.:)

@Gay3:Yea, you know what, if you stay here in the middle east, all the places, esp europe seems too close. And traveling to any place you like is so affordable, unlike in India. Its cheaper to go on a holiday to Germany for me, than to come to kerala on a vacation. So doesnt seem to be a big deal anymore. And once you too start working it would sound normal.Infact i hate going on official trips , i hate meetings, i am a recluse and shy, i like it that way.


And thanks for that remark. Actually i have really tried to write very simple in all my previous posts. Probably i should write in my real style, which is what i am doing these days. thanks:))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Sujata: Thanks. you should try his books. I deleted the post, coz i thought the story is too mushy and corny. Girly one. I havent deleted but its saved as draft.:))

@Zeba: Welcome back. i am doing good. hope the same with you.In saudi or still in India. :))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Gymnast: I know wht you mean. It was the same with me in college. But now, i have much more time. i read an hour before sleep, and sometimes sitting in office.

For me blogging takes much short time. This post just took 45 minutes to write, recheck-edit, and post. Ya i do keep adding stuff later on or continue editing a post. All the best, studies should be the most important thing now, reading can wait, you have all the time left in ur life for that. :))

AnjuGandhi said...

welcome back
i was really wondering where you have disappeared
the book sounds interesting and as i said earlier reading is my passion. now i have to find this book in the market. Lets hope so.

Dhanya said...

Wow. Sounds damn interesting! Will definitely look out for this book the next time I hit the bookshop :) And 12 dollars for a 200 odd page book? ooooohhhhh :P

Swatantra said...

Good to know that you are back, and back with the bang.

Great post, i will surely pick this book.

Thanks for sharing!!

Ida said...

My comment didn't appear:(

Ida said...

Had left a comment in the morning, and it did not appear...so here it goes again:

I had always wanted to read Coetzee but somehow could never get around to it. But after reading your sparkling review, I am surely going to hunt for the book. The story by itself seems good and from your write-up the narrative sounds good too. So, Coetzee, HERE I COME!
Lovely and insightful review:)
Cheers!

R. Ramesh said...

hey welcome back buddy..good post as usual..i liked this: The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest lessons, while those who come to learn nothing.

The Panorama said...

Hey, welcome back! Hope you had a nice trip...hopefully we will get to see some pictures soon.

Nice post, by the way:) I will try getting hold of the book here. Cheers!

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

hmmm... now i have to read it...thanks for suggesting...

hey by the way... i have a question... how do u have this feature of having ur comments in the comments section in bold green...
please let me know...i would reallly appreciate it.thanksss :)

Keshi said...

was wondering where u were :) WB!

Keshi.

Priya said...

First, Welcome back after all those "Hick and Kick" sessions... :D and thanks for the review..as this book will be there in the list of "Books-to-be-read-but-don't-know-when"....

Babli said...

Nice to see your post after a long time.I have taken the notes of the books recommended by you.Thanks.

Jyothi said...

Welcome Back. Will try and get the book. God, how many books will a person read maan, with a bad neck. he he...and for heaven's sake check your mail..

ZiLliOnBiG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZiLliOnBiG said...

@@@@ ALL:::::::hey THANKS A TON to ALL. Apologies for not visiting your blogs. WILL COME TO READ YOUR BLOG POSTS SOON. A bit tied with office and work. Thanks, keep smiling.:))

le embrouille blogueur said...

Like the title of your post .... good review ..I see you recommend Naipaul to one of the commenters ... I am a big fan .... cannot bring myself to like anyone else's writing as much .... good stuff !!

numerounity said...

Yup, the last time when i actually went on holidays, it was a short trip to mumbai and Goa. I was so happy with that little world tour of mineJ

The book sounds interesting...If i couldnt grab a ebook, will try to pick...

extremity said...

hm..i have read this novel some time back and was kind of disheveled..the reading itself was a different one as u mentioned.a going on style and the course of events all presented a total different read.after reading this one i checked for another Coetzee but cudn find from my college library..i usually don't buy books..but i'll soon be

Sakshi said...

I am already experiencing a lump in my throat after reading about the book. I think I need to move my lazy self and get hold of the book. Hey V.S.Naipul is my fave author too - A house for Mr. Biswas is the best. Rushdie well I am disgraced to say that I got 4 of his books to just put up on my shelf :( I cannot decipher his words to save my life.

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

Thanks for educating me about JM Coetzee. Will read him as soon as I can. Like Rahul, I have read none of Naipaul's books, but I am a big fan of Rushdie. Midnight's Children, Satanic Verses, and The Moor's Last Sigh are the three best novels I have read.

wishes galore said...

nice review...
my club library had this book n seeing the name of JM Coetzee as author rushed me to issue it as soon as i found it...liked the way of present-tense narration and it really tells how one have to comprise to make a living in tense eras.

@sakshi.. hey, good to see somebody who couldnt read Rushdie.I thought i had some problem when i couldnt make myself move ahead after 100 pages of 'midnight children'..:) its another fact that it was an e-book.

anamika said...

Everytime i pick up a book i keep wishing for more books.My wish list is long but as yur book is just 200 page so can pick it up any time..

a good review indeed.Keep it up:)

अर्शिया अली said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
{ Treasurer-T & S }