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Youth: Scenes from Provincial Life II Paperback – October 7, 2003
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Like the halting, self-interrogating consciousness of John's computers, Coetzee renders his character's inner life through a series of rhetorical questions. These lend the book a curiously existentialist air but also contribute to its slightly dilatory gait. (It feels far longer than its 170-odd pages.) Coetzee's tone is so laconic it's hard, on occasions, to be entirely certain if John's poetic ambitions should be pitied or simply laughed at. However, this novel does offer an unflinchingly acute dissection of the adolescent male psyche. --Travis Elborough, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Coetzee is a master of erudite objectivity, suspending outside judgement in a stream of succinct observations. His narrative runs its course with hardly an extraneous word, and, although the themes are often somber, he maintains an undercurrent of optimism. The result is both satisfying and memorable.
This book is highly recommended. Read it and enjoy.
"Youth" tells the story of a young man of university age who sensed that his future as a writer in his native South Africa is hopeless. He also realizes that his entire life there is hopeless. We see the clumsiness of his relationships with others; especially women. Most of this is his own fault as he sees everything in the context of whether it will help the development of his artistic talent. Love has no serious role to play in this life (at least at this point in his life). He emigrates to London (his other options for artistic development were Paris and Vienna). Unfortunately he has to get a job and his mathmatical background enables him to find a reasonably good one. However, everything continues to be measured in its' ability to enhance or detract from his development as a poet. The book ends with the anticipated dispair that such a detached life would bring.Read more ›
Coetzee concentrates on a decisive period in John's life - from his mid-teens to his early twenties. In this coming of age portrait of John, we see an awkward youth, whose mind hovers between ambitious dreams and self-doubt. He is a young South African, determined to escape the confines of family and the restrictions in his country. Coetzee presents us with a fascinating and often entertaining quasi-memoir, set against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in history: The frequent unrests and subsequent violent suppression of protests by South African blacks (e.g. Sharpville), the Cuban missile crisis, the declaration of South Africa as a republic, etc.
John, while a reasonably successful mathematics student, sees his real calling in being a poet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great and excellent.. I'm very confortable with this and it works in an excellent way; perfect stuff and just awesome!Published on December 12, 2013 by Jonathan Almonte
YOUTH: SCENES FROM A PROVINCIAL LIFE II is the second installment of Coetzee's four-part fictionalized autobiography. Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Ethan Cooper
This is the kind of book that stays with a reader long after the final page. Coetzee once again delivers a kind of realism through words that few can achieve better.Published on November 28, 2011 by J. Smallridge
Coetzee can come across as cool, detached, and even cruel in the second installment of his autobiographical series, Youth: Scenes from a Provincial Life II. Read morePublished on September 1, 2011 by Eric Maroney
Youth is the second in Coetzee's fictionalized autobigraphical series. I read it right after reading Boyhood. Read morePublished on October 24, 2009 by Richard Pittman
This book by South African writer J. M. Coetzee is not exactly an autobiography, as it recounts a few years of his life, from about the time he was 19 to his mid 20s, during the... Read morePublished on November 13, 2008 by Andres C. Salama
Coetzee's second autobiographical novel is a story of flights and also an 'Education sentimentale'.
It is a flight from the oppressiveness of his family and the love of... Read more
It seems that Coetzee, winner of two Bookers, is taken awfully seriously. And, that this is a book based upon his own formative years, adds to that pontificating ouvre. Read morePublished on December 27, 2007 by Ernest Joselovitz
At 19-years-old, J.M. Coetzee felt he had to get away. As a white growing up in South Africa during the late 1950s, the Sharpeville Massacre and the fear of being drafted caused... Read morePublished on October 28, 2007 by S. Meyer