First Wed Reading Group Discussion

Today the library’s First Wed Reading Group discussed the book ‘Diary of a bad year‘ by J. M. Coetzee.

It is a novel with a very different format. The book combines non-fiction writings with a fictional plot to create an amazing account of John Coetzee’s experiences and beliefs. The story of an old gentleman Senor C, a writer, who is writing articles on range of topics from politics, religions, and ethics to climate change, for a German publisher, forms the first half of the book. When Senor C meets his neighbour, 29 years old attractive girl, Anya who lives with her boyfriend Alan, a 42 years old investment consultant the plot becomes centred on the relationship between these three people and is then paralleled with Senor’s essay writings that come to form the second part of the book.A member from the reading group said that she had to keep two bookmarks to make sure that both the fictional and nonfictional parts were read. Some felt it was a little bit hard to concentrate on because of the unusual format. Some enjoyed the read and thought the book was a refection of Coetzee himself. People all agreed that the book certainly made them think about some big issues and it stimulated the group to have a vigorous and interesting debate.

J. M. Coetzee is a 2003 literature Nobel winner and has written numerous books. He has taken up residence in Australia in recent years.