Diary of a Bad Year

Review by Dustin

Author: J.M. Coetzee
Publisher: Penguin/Random House
Publication Date:
Genre: Fiction
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The much-heralded Diary of a Bad Year is a collection of essays and rebuttals by the not-so-thinly veiled Coetzee mirror Mr. C, as well as his surrounding characters. He is commissioned to unabashedly write a series of his opinions. Ranging from pedophilia to the wars, C. is always counterpointed by his typist, Anya. The other voice is Alan, Anya’s boyfriend who lives above Mr. C. With incredible multi-layered depth to the characters, Coetzee manifests their voices simultaneously; each entry contains the personal view of at least two of the characters. As the book progresses, C.’s opinions slowly break down into relative shakiness, whilst Anya’s strengthen. Called “a profound return from profundity” by the New York Times, Diary of a Bad Year has found a way make a unique mark in the quagmire of literature.

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