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Month in review

Reviews:
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni
Animal Attraction by Jamie Ponti
The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
Atlantis Gate by Greg Donegan
Best-Loved Art From American Museums by Patricia Failing
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Counterfeit Gentleman by Clarence Budington Kelland
Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment by M. Rickert
Falling Angel by Eugene Mirabelli
Fatal Vows by Joseph Hosey
Finders Seekers by Gayle Greeno
A Foreign Country by Wayne Wightman
Gentle Giant Octopus by Karen Wallace
It's About Your Friend by Phillip Scott
Leave by Robert Reed
The Liar by Stephen Fry
Love and Sand by Howard M. Layton
Mort by Terry Pratchett
The Only Known Jump Across Time by Eugene Mirabelli
Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
Planetesimal Dawn by Tim Sullivan
Requiem of the Author of Frankenstein by Molly Dwyer
Ring of Hell by Matthew Randazzo V
The Scarecrow's Boy by Michael Swanwick
Strike Anywhere by Dean Young
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
Waiting for the Barbarians by J. M. Coetzee
Walking the Rainbow by Richard René Silvin
The World I Imagine by Debbie Jordan
Za-Za's Baby Brother by Lucy Cousins


Don Quixote:
Book 1
Book 2

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Waiting for the Barbarians

Waiting for the BarbariansWaiting for the Barbarians: 11/30/08

Waiting for the Barbarians by J. M. Coetzee is one of those books I had to read for college that I read only well enough to take the mid term or final and move on with other assignments. In other words, all these years later, I couldn't remember thing one about the novel. This Thanksgiving weekend I set things to right by re-reading the novel at a leisurely pace without the stress of having to study it. The book has now gone from "unmemorable" to "damn good novel" for me.

The book follows the life and times of a small town magistrate at the edge of an unnamed empire that is trying to expand its borders into "barbarian" territory This outpost at the edge of the hinterland sees first hand the war with barbarians and the ways in which the empire ill treats its prisoners of war.

Much of the book focuses on one prisoner, a young woman who has been crippled and nearly blinded during her "interrogation." The magistrate lives with her for a while but decides in the end that she should be returned to her people. His act of kindness is taken as an act of treason.

As the empire is never named it works well as an allegory for any number of nations. It could be either Coetzee's own homes, South Africa, the place of his birth, or Australia, his current home. To me, it fits easily in any of the South American nations, although I was especially reminded of Brazil. The book also reminded me in tone of George Orwell's 1984.

Waiting for the Barbarians is short but powerful. It's less than 160 pages and can easily be read over a weekend. It's well worth a read, or perhaps a re-read.

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Comment #1: Saturday, March, 28, 2009 at 17:31:47

Gavin

I have linked to your review here.



Comment #2: Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 19:00:14

Pussreboots

OK. Thank you for letting me know.