Elizabeth Costello

Elizabeth Costello

Large Print - 2004
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In his first work of fiction since his Nobel Prize-winning "Disgrace," this "New York Times" Notable Book and bestseller is the story of a woman's life as a mother, sister, lover, and writer that is also a profound and haunting meditation on the nature of storytelling.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Wheeler Pub., 2004.
ISBN: 9781587246678
Characteristics: 311 p. (large print) ; 24 cm.


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Sep 21, 2019

This book was much more challenging than Coetzee's 'Life and Times of Michael K' and 'Disgrace,' both excellent. Here, I often flipped past long passages to get the sense without reading every word. I wonder if the reviewers read and absorbed it all? Still I made it to the final lesson, as he calls the chapters, which in a surprising twist almost contradicts the previous lessons of the book. Also true of 'Michael K,' I suppose.

Apr 07, 2019

Rather difficult to get through this bland book. One gets the feeling that the author lacks the courage to commit to writing essays by dumping what their contents would be into a narrative, a very awkward narrative, in order to have an out if challenged on what he says in them. Not worth re-reading, and requires some effort to finish reading by the readers. A cowardly effort.

RogerDeBlanck Jul 27, 2018

Through the use of the title character, Elizabeth Costello, an esteemed professor and lecturer, Coetzee expands upon subjects and ideas he first introduced in his short volume of essays entitled The Lives of the Animals. He essentially builds a narrative around the earlier essays and allows Costello to serve as his mouthpiece. This technique allows the novel to amount to a philosophical treatise with incidents in Costello’s life acting as influence for the ideas she writes and speaks about as a scholar. Coetzee’s prose shines at times with tremendous insight and the plot includes moments of revelation, but the book lacks the impact of a sound piece of fiction. Readers looking for titles that exemplify why Coetzee was deservedly awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature should try some of his other unforgettable novels, such as Age of Iron or Disgrace.

Apr 30, 2014


Perhaps I struggle with Coetzee books. Maybe I don't like characters built entirely around existential truths that I don't find very truthy, existential, or interesting. Or, I might be so much at peace about eating meat that I’m unable to connect with the striking amount of vegetarianism promotion. Ultimately, I'm not exactly sure what happened here, but I tried


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