Read: December 2006
Cycling one day, Paul Rayment is hit by a careless young driver and after he ‘flew through the air with the greatest of ease’ finds his body maimed and his mind mired in the quicksand of regret. Nothing can lift his spirits until he employs a Croatian nurse and falls (absurdly) in love. When he succumbs to the myth that speaking ones love will transform his life, he finds himself leeching onto her surrogate family in the hope of rectifying his regrets. But when an elderly writer arrives to cast him as a character in her latest novel he is forced to listen to his conscience and analyse what is left of his disfigured life.
Coetzee loves getting into the minds of cantankerous old men whose staunch opposition to the mindset of the time leaves them adrift in a world they no longer see as their own. This is a typical Coetzee novel, full of his incisive analysis and evocative language; a good book, well worth reading.
5 out of 10