Slow Man is the second book I read by J. M. Coetzee. The first book I read was Scenes from Provincial Life, an autobiographical novel in which he told his own life story. I was a little smitten with him with that book; I guess there was a little more than just sympathy. With Slow Man, I can say that my curiosity and interest in this fascinating author increased even more.
Slow Man will immediately immerse you from the very first pages. Paul, who lost a leg after a traffic accident and whose life has changed completely, will immediately gain your sympathy without having to do anything. Then Marijana will enter his life, and you will be hopeful. You will start turning pages faster, wondering what will happen between these two. Then suddenly Elizabeth Costello will appear. All your dreams will fall apart like a carefully made model. The course of the book will not be the same from now on.
Elizabeth Costello is a significant character. I’ve read so many hateful comments that mention her; it is bizarre. But I could not hate her; on the contrary, I felt sorry for her more than anyone else in the book. This book is worth reading even just for that character. But it contains a lot more. If you haven’t read Coetzee before, it is a significant loss. You may consider reading him for the first time with this book. Enjoy!
Paul Rayment is on the threshold of a comfortable old age when a calamitous cycling accident results in the amputation of a leg. Humiliated, his body truncated, his life circumscribed, he turns away from his friends.
He hires a nurse named Marijana, with whom he has a European childhood in common: hers in Croatia, his in France. Tactfully and efficiently she ministers to his needs. But his feelings for her, and for her handsome teenage son, are complicated by the sudden arrival on his doorstep of the celebrated Australian novelist Elizabeth Costello, who threatens to take over the direction of his life and the affairs of his heart.
J. M. Coetzee
John Maxwell Coetzee is a South African-born novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: