After seeing a good review of it on M-----l's blog, I asked for and received Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee from my local library. Like I needed another book to read, but luckily this was a rather thin tome, so it was one I figured I could handle.
And I did finish it, which something I've had a hard time doing lately. Disgrace tells the story of a South African professor who gets involved with a student of his, gets found out and then kicked out. He goes to stay with his daughter, who has gone back to the earth and runs a farm by herself off "in the country". More bad things happen, which interferes with his writing of a Lord Byron opera.
I have to admit to being a little nonplussed by it all. Disgrace is a Booker Prize winner, and Coetzee is a literary darling. But in many ways, it reminded me of reading The Welsh Girl - a book populated with characters who seemed to never leap off the page, remaining just literary figures who never resonated with me as "real" people. Motivations seemed to be missing or, even worse, random. And the main character never came off as someone to feel sorry for, who seemed to be reaching for something, but actually rather pathetic in the end. Not a bad book, but not one that makes me want to run out and read another Coetzee.