Book Companion Logo  THE DEATH OF JESUS
AUTHOR: J. M. Coetzee
J. M. Coetzee

The Nobel Prize

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REVIEWS: The Death of Jesus
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Book Companion

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020. In Estrella, David has grown to be a tall ten-year-old who is a natural at soccer, and loves kicking a ball around with his friends. One day Julio Fabricante, the director of a nearby orphanage, invites David and his friends to form a proper soccer team but before long he succumbs to a mysterious illness. In The Death of Jesus, J. M. Coetzee continues to explore the meaning of a world empty of memory but brimming with questions.

Characters: 21. Amazon rating: 4 1/2 stars. Genre: Fiction.

    BOOK COMPANION Editor Gerry Andeen Discusses The Death of Jesus  


J. M. Coetzee is a well regarded author, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. The Death of Jesus is the last in the Jesus trilogy.  Coetzee’s writing is naked, everything is clear and straightforward although in establishing the setting for this novel, several Spanish words are used.  The reader knows that there is something deeper going on than the story being told, especially since Jesus is not a character in the trilogy.

We are told that David is an exceptional boy.  He dances, he plays football, he is well  liked.  He tells stories to other children based on Don Quixote, the book from which he learned to read.Yet there is something unusual about him, even the sickness that overtakes him is not diagnosed.  He supposedly has messages for some people.

Presumably David is an analog of Jesus.  Extending the analogy to the other characters and uncovering hidden meanings should keep discussion going into the small hours.




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