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1 rating: 5.0
A book by J. M. Coetzee

In this brilliant reshaping of Defoe's classic tale starring Robinson Crusoe, Coetzee explores the relationships between speech and silence, master and slave, story and storyteller, and sanity and madness.

Tags: Books
Author: J. M. Coetzee
Publisher: Penguin
1 review about Foe

Original and Interesting

  • Jul 25, 2010
This is a very original and unusual retelling of the story of Robinson Crusoe. The protagonist is a female character that does not appear in the original story. Her experiences and adventures greatly expand on the narrative of the shipwrecked traveler. While her presence on the island sheds new light on many already familiar incidents, it also creates a whole set of new ones. Being stranded on a deserted island, however, constitutes just a fraction of this story and the main parts of the narrative deal with events and situations that ensue after the castaways have been rescued.

This is a book where the truth is oftentimes muddied; it is never entirely clear how many of the events have been fabricated full-cloth and how many are genuine. Coetzee manages to develop a narrative style and language that is simultaneously evocative of the conventions of nineteenth century novels and yet fresh and accessible to the modern reader. Although this book is not representative of the themes and situations about which he typically writes, I found this to be perhaps his most original novel. I really enjoyed reading it and felt it was a very refreshing departure from the kinds of books that I have been reading lately. The book is truly a little gem.

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