by Jason W., July 27, 2009 9:12 AM
Coetzee's beautiful tale of Michael K's search for meaning and dignity is inspiring and powerful ? and unfortunately relevant. The war, racism, and human-rights abuses framing The Life and Times of Michael K are as close as tomorrow's headlines. By focusing on one man's attempt to live a life of freedom, Coetzee universalizes our evils, and Michael K's heart-wrenching story becomes revealingly human. The savagery will haunt you, but Michael K's innocence and resolve will have you cheering. The Life and Times of Michael K changed for the better what I thought literature was capable of, and what it should aspire to: it cuts like barbed wire, but heals like a lover's touch. I owe my friend a lifetime of thanks for recommending this to me; it's simply a brilliant book.