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Reviews Tue Sep 08 2009

Summertime Shortlisted

The Booker Prize shortlist was announced today and J.M. Coetzee's Summertime was, as expected, included. A flood of reviews have popped up, so, although you can't get hands on a copy until December in the States, you can get a good idea of what the book is about. Read about it:

•At the Telegraph: "The new book deploys the device of introducing a biographer to research the life of the late South African novelist John Coetzee, "who did not love anybody, he was not built for love". It takes a tough man to be this rotten about himself, but even as Coetzee rises to the challenge, we are left with the question of how he got this way. "

•At the Guardian: "Summertime plays with the question, which Coetzee seems to find genuinely baffling as well as wryly amusing, of why people should be at all interested in him as a human being."

•At the Complete Review: "The overlay of fact and fiction remains uncomfortable, but then this is meant to be a very uncomfortable book (as the descriptions of his love-interests alone would assure). Yet it's hard also not to see it as a vanity project."

•At The Independent: "What Summertime offers is a subtle, allusive meditation: an intriguing map of a weak character's constricted heart struggling against the undertow of suspicion within South Africa's claustrophobic, unpoetic, overtly macho society.

•And, finally, an excerpt.

 
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