During the full time work years, re-reading a favorite book wasn't an impulse I often indulged. But doing so these past eight years has been one of the singular pleasures of my life. Which re-read has most recently given you a fresh jolt?
JM Coetzee's "Disgrace" has occupied a spot in my top twenty-five novels of all time since I first read it near its 1999 release date. What most struck me on this re-read is how the hard earned wisdom that infuses the novel is masterfully rendered yet, utterly matter-of-fact. For example, the chapters bookending the day of and the day after the attack on David Lurie and his daughter Lucy each begin with three words - "It is Wednesday." & "A new day." The author's restraint - contrasted with the brutality and ugliness in between those two simple declarative statements - is just one example of the command he has of his craft. The book brims with writing that never draws attention to itself.
Aside from a spirited conversation about the use of third person voice in "Disgrace", a good portion of the discussion at my book club centered on the moral of Coetzee's tale. No surprise - the discerning readers at the meeting could not agree what the author wanted us to take away. Have I ever read a truly great novel that led me to a single this-must-be-the-point conclusion? Have you? FYI, the ending here won't make you happy if you like books that tie everything into a pretty bow. Also, you may not care much for David Lurie. But I'm reasonably certain you won't forget him either.
BTW, this re-read convinced me David clearly still belongs on my Mt. Rushmore of flawed Dads from literature.