The Death of Jesus

J.M. Coetzee. Viking, $27 (208p) ISBN 978-1-984880-90-1
The thoughtful, clear-eyed final installment of Nobel laureate Coetzee’s Jesus trilogy picks up three years after The Schooldays of Jesus. David, now age 10, remains an enigmatic prodigy, skilled at soccer, dance, and arcane mathematics, and living under the watchful eye of his ruminative adopted father, Simon—who again narrates—and Ines, his protective adoptive mother. The family, living in a Spanish-speaking town called Estrella in an unnamed country, is disrupted when Dr. Julio Fabricante, the director of a local orphanage, challenges David and his friends to play soccer against the orphans’ team. Almost immediately, David is enchanted by the orphans, and runs away to live with them. After David comes down with a mysterious neurological disorder that makes him prone to sudden falls, he returns home to Simon and Ines. Simon notices changes in David; he is aloof with Simon and Ines and unsettled by questions about the afterlife. David has also attracted a band of followers who treat him with messianic devotion as he recites stories from Don Quixote. Like in previous volumes, Coetzee’s simple, clean prose is guided by philosophical questions, and Simon’s humanistic reflections provide a thrilling contrast to David’s bumpy journey of faith and acceptance of his mortality. This is an ambitious and satisfying conclusion. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/03/2020
Release date: 05/26/2020
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-1-78730-211-2
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-78730-212-9
Book - 978-1-9848-8091-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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