Book Spotlight @ReadNobels: Life and Times of Michael K by J.M.Coetzee


I'm hosting the first ever Read the Nobels 2016 Reading Challenge. You can join in any time of the year and all it takes is to read one book written by a Nobel Prize for Literature laureate. You can sign up HERE.

This is part of a bigger, perpetual challenge. If you'd like to get more Nobel Prize winning literature in your TBRs in your lifetime, check out the Read the Nobels blog.

Every few weeks, I'll feature a book and/or a Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate. Here's the first installment, a book which has been read and reviewed four times on the Read the Nobels blog:

South African first edition
from Wikipedia

The Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee

J.M. Coetzee: The Nobel Prize in Literature 2003 (South Africa)... "who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider" (nobelprize.org).


Synopsis of The Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee: In a South Africa torn by civil war, Michael K sets out to take his mother back to her rural home. On the way there she dies, leaving him alone in an anarchic world of brutal roving armies. Imprisoned, Michael is unable to bear confinement and escapes, determined to live with dignity. Life and Times of Michael K goes to the centre of human experience - the need for an interior, spiritual life, for some connections to the world in which we live, and for purity of vision.


Review snippets from Read the Nobels

Don't forget to check out the links for full reviews:

As with all of Coetzee's novels, Life and Times of Michael K is not light reading. In many ways it is depressing; but ultimately it captures the beauty of the human soul. - Wendy, Caribou's Mom

Read literally, the book is horribly depressing, because Michael seems to be mentally ill or mentally deficient (because he cannot provide for himself and he has no will to survive), but no one is able to help him. Read symbolically, I just do not get it. - Gilion Dumas, Rose City Reader

Such a melancholy, haunting book! Life and Times of Michael K won the Booker in 1983, and no wonder - its a spare, precise prose is perfect for the pared-down life of its central character, Michael K. - Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers

Life and Times of Michael K is a slim volume, just 184 pages, but I would argue that it is a masterful work that captures the struggling inherent in our human nature. - Rebecca Reid, Rebecca Reads


Find out more about this book and J.M. Coetzee:

J.M. Coetzee's notable books:


Photo credits: book cover - Wikipedia, author photo - J.M. Coetzee

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