Thursday, May 31, 2007

Disgrace by JM Coetzee

A Review

Title: Disgrace
Author: JM Coetzee
Price: RM 34.90

I finished this book feeling disgusted and annoyed.

This book won the 1999 Booker prize. It is widely praised but I really didn't like it at all. For one it is an extremely sad (*not tear-jerking sad, but loser sad) story about sad (*) people making sad (*) decisions, or NOT making decisions.

I can't tell you what the storyline is because I don't really know. There is the old itchy man, his weird unreadbale daughter, and assortments of other characters that consist also of a lot of short-lived animals. There's the "disturbing attack" (that's quoted from the book backcover) that is not as disgusting as the way the victims were coping with it. Apart from that the book is a morose story ambling along.

Was it a great book in terms of relating raw human nature at its truth? I don't know, or more like I don't want to know. I subscribe to the saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." If you don't have a nice story, then don't tell a story at all. Even sad, ugly stories can be nice stories, but Disgrace is a diffrent matter. It's ugly in a base way, it has no undertones of hope and love and all things nice. It has no tragic moments, no painful moments, no wonderful moments. Just ugly in a plain way. Or is that just plain ugly.

Did I come away enriched, with a new thought and perspective? No, just annoyed. Annoyed and disgusted and the kind of people who "flow" instead of taking the effort to make the best of what they have. Annoyed that an ugly story was written and that I read it. Look at the cover, it perfectly shows what type of ugly is inside.

I read it as it was on my 501 to read list. I've picked up the book at 3 seperate occasions and put it back on account of the mangy dog on the cover. So, judge a book by it's cover - if the story is bad at least you've enjoyed the cover.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Towards 100 books in 2007

Remember my resolution to manage 50 books this year?
It's the end of May and already I've hit 48!

Hebat! Not quite, my read list is peppered by floozy (but fun!) little black dresses and lots of kiddie books. Both types are a couple of hours read each, some even less, so I think I'm cheating by putting this into my book-count. But it makes me feel good to see the number rising, so...

Little Black Dresses
1) Spirit Willing Flesh Weak [Julie Cohen]
2) Blue Christmas [Mary Kay Andrews]
3) How to Sleep with a Movie Star [Kristin Harmel]
4) Singletini [Amanda Trimble]
5) Step on it, Cupid [Lolerai Mathias]
6) Accidentally Engaged [Mary Carter]
7) Hex and the Single Girl [Valerie Frankel]
8) She'll Take It [Mary Carter]
9) The Balance Thing [Margaret Dumas]
10) The Men's Guide to Women's Bathroom [Jo Barrett]
11) Mounting Desire [Nina Killham]
Book Count: 48 - 11 = 37

1) Just So Stories [Rudyard Kipling]
2) The Wizard of Oz [L. Frank Baum]
3) The Secret Garden [Frances Hodgson Burnett]
4) Pinocchio [Carlo Collodi]
5) Emil and the Detectives [Erich Kastner]
6) Charlotte's Web [E. B. White]
7) Peter Pan [J.M. Barrie]
8) Mary Poppins [P. L. Travers]
9) Pippi Longstocking [Astrid Lindgren]
10) Wind in the Willows [Kenneth Grahame]
11) The Weirdstone of Brisingamen [Alan Garner]
12) A Book of Nonsense [Edward Lear]
13) And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street [Dr Seuss]
14) Where the Wild Things Are [Maurice Sendak]
15) The Little Prince [Antoine De Saint-Exupery]
16) A Wrinkle in Time [Madeleine L'Engle]
17) Tom's Midnight Garden [Philippa Pearce]
18) Anne of Green Gables [L.M. Montgomery]
19) Little Women [Louisa May Alcott]
20) Winnie-the-Pooh [A. A. Milne]
21) Grimms' Fairy Tales [Brothers Grimm]
22) Dr Dolitte [Hugh Lofting]
23) The Human Comedy [William Saroyan]
24) The Color of Magic [Terry Prachett]
25) The Happy Prince and Other Stories [Oscar Wilde]
26) Black Beauty [Anna Sewell]
27) Heidi [Johanna Spyri]
Book Count: 37 - 27 = 10!
* Some book in this list are must-read classics, but they are still kiddie books, ya

My Actual Read List
1) My Family and Other Animal [Gerald Durell]
2) The Master and Margararita [Mikhail Bulgakov]
3) Paula [Isabel Allende]
4) Lord of the Flies [William Golding]
5) The Stepford Wives [Ira Levin]
6) Wuthering Heights [Emily Bronte]
7) Things Fall Apart [Chinua Achebe]
8) Surfacing [Margaret Atwood]
9) The Handmaid's Tale [Margaret Atwood]
10) Confessions of an Old Boy [Kam Raslan]

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