The Schooldays of Jesus

The Schooldays of Jesus

Book - 2016
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From the Nobel Prize-winning author J. M. Coetzee, the haunting sequel to The Childhood of Jesus, continuing the journey of David, Simon, and Ines. "When you travel across the ocean on a boat, all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life. That is how it is. There is no before. There is no history. The boat docks at the harbour and we climb down the gangplank and we are plunged into the here and now. Time begins." David is the small boy who is always asking questions. Simon and Ines take care of him in their new town, Estrella. He is learning the language; he has begun to make friends. He has the big dog Bolivar to watch over him. But he'll be seven soon and he should be at school. And so, with the guidance of the three sisters who own the farm where Simon and Ines work, David is enrolled in the Academy of Dance. It's here, in his new golden dancing slippers, that he learns how to call down the numbers from the sky. But it is here, too, that he will make troubling discoveries about what grown-ups are capable of. In this mesmerizing allegorical tale, Coetzee deftly grapples with the big questions of growing up, of what it means to be a parent, the constant battle between intellect and emotion, and how we choose to live our lives.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2016]
ISBN: 9780735222663
0735222665
Branch Call Number: FICTION COETZEE
Characteristics: 260 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Coetzee, J. M. 1940- Childhood of Jesus

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kountzcl
Jul 20, 2020

This experienced novelist here deliberately withholds points of context that would otherwise give readers a sense of place and time. We are in no place that can be recognized. Also Coetzee permits the story to take over so that we lose confidence in the narrator, who is the only contact with reality in the disintegrating story. What purpose the name Jesus in the title serves is left a mystery, as is the talented boy David, whose education is attempted but disrupted by a death. I prefer the author's earlier novels to this one, yet I expect to read the third in the set to learn how it all wraps up. Is David a genius in disguise who will redeem the people here? To be determined.

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1aa
Apr 15, 2019

An awfully tedious read; flat, un-enjoyable, a ridiculous plot. It sounds like a teenagers attempt at writing like Hemingway. The spare-ness of the prose is punctuated here and there with a few oddities, and thinking about them (wholly the work of the reader) is the only pleasure from this work. I will not read it again, and barely had the patience to finish it.

m
mclarjh
Oct 03, 2016

A quick read, but tedious at the same time. I have no idea what the author's trying to do with this book. I won't be reading any more of this latest series. Deeply disappointing.

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