#20 Youth – J. M. Coetzee

27 Mar
Youth - J.M. Coetzee

Youth – J.M. Coetzee

Goodreads rating: 3.78/5 (2,200+ ratings)

My rating: 6/10

First Published: 2002 by Secker and Warburg

Genre: Autobiography

So, I only just found out that this book is a semi-fictionalised autobiography by J M Coetzee. When reading it, I thought it was total fiction, and was originally going to comment about how there was no climax/event in this book and how it just plodded along. However, now knowing that it’s actually about Coetzee himself, it’s a lot more interesting! Real life often doesn’t have a huge event that changes the course of your life (usually), which is what you usually expect in a fictional book. Originally I was going to give this a 4, but have moved it to a 6 knowing what I now know.

Basically, Youth is the second book in a series by Coetzee called ‘Scenes from a Provincial Life’ of which there are 3 books. If i’d known it was a series I would’ve read the first book before this one! It follows Coetzee from being an aspiring poet, and mathematics student in Cape Town, South Africa, to moving to London in the 60s and working as a computer programmer whilst trying to pursue his love of poetry and prose.

Youth was a slow read, but it did keep me interested and it wasn’t too long which helped. It was quite depressing though, especially the description of London and how dull his life was. I found him quite boring too, although the book was well written so I was kept interested.

My favourite part of this book was the description of what was happening in South Africa at the time. My Dad is South African and grew up during Apartheid. There were events, political parties, and people referenced in this book that I found myself needing to Google and read up about, which has expanded my knowledge about South Africa, and has made me hungry to read more books about that period in time. I know that it had a big effect on my Dad, and would love to learn more! Also, another thing that i’ve learnt about the author is that although he’s of South African origin, he now lives in Adelaide, Australia which is where my Dad first moved to after leaving South Africa.

I don’t think I’d recommend this. However I’m not turned off reading Coetzee books because I’ve heard great things about some of his other novels, and I do think Youth was well written.


3 Responses to “#20 Youth – J. M. Coetzee”

  1. Vickie Bates March 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I don’t get the J.M. Coetzee fan club. I’ve found his books dull and plodding, too. There’s so many other great African writers out there, I’d rather spend my reading time with them. Just my humble opinion, your mileage may vary. 🙂

    • hms1990 March 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      I would love to hear your recommendations of great African writers!?


  1. WWW Wednesday | books are the best - April 10, 2013

    […] The last book I finished was Youth by J.M. Coetzee. You’ll find my review here.  […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


a Sydney single’s face off with modern dating misery

A Poem A Day

Brendan Stoneham - Poet

Tien's Blurb

My reading blurbs

Daily (w)rite


Grow up proper

A raw view on life

Disciples Perspective

Restoring Civility to Conversation & Conservatism to Theology

the bippity boppity beautiful blog

let's create something beautiful - Katie Ann De Crescenzo

The ToiBox of Words

A look inside the mind of a writer who loves comic books, vinyl records, chocolate, and a good film.

Adora Writes

Sense will always have charm for me.

book'd out

Book Reviews and News

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

The Neighborhood

The Story within the Story

Marpay Fitness

Unleash The Lion Within!

L.M. Sacasas

Technology, Culture, and Ethics

Pros Write

More workplace success--without platitudes

you said it...

If they didn't publish their hatred, it wouldn't have appeared here.

Maija's Fantasy Reads

Fantasy and other speculative fiction book blog

The Angry Grey Cat Reads

Reading, Drinking, Reading, Napping...Reading

Deb Deb Reviews

Two Debby's who love to read

Eva Genin



Find me at http://fairweatherdiver.blogspot.com/

Cynthia Stacey

Young Adult Paranormal Author - Expect the Unexpected!


“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” - Cicero

reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

"I like the scars because I like the stories. Bravery, stupidity, pain - none of them come free." - Jessica Martinez, Virtuosity

Book Chatter

Chatting with friends about books and life...

All The Books I Can Read

1 girl....2 many books!


lover of written words

Just Reading For Fun

A fine WordPress.com site

Lucybird's Book Blog

Book reviews and discussion

The Word Jar

Book reviews. Publishing news. Wordy views.


Cui multum datum est multum quaeretur ab eo

love & other legumes

Healthy vegetarian home-cooking...not just tofu & lentils

TheCoevas official blog

Strumentisti di Parole/Musicians of words


An Endeavor To Explore The Uncertanity

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

Radiance Project NZ

beauty through balance & nature

Book Journey

Continuing adventures of a true bookaholic...

We're Jumpin' Books

Jumpin' through Random Books, One Book at a Time

%d bloggers like this: