This is my first university text read, however it's one of the later ones I'm supposed to read. And I'm going to settle on a three star rating simply because I did enjoy this book to a degree. It was well written and insightful. Yet the subject matter was such that one cannot I believe love this book. It would border on the macabre to love a novel which focuses on abuse as its topic of consideration. In fact to be honest I'm not quite sure what I think of the story at this moment.
I'll let honesty speak for itself and perhaps my opinions will change as I later explore the themes and idea of the novel. A novel which focuses firstly on a university teacher who starts up an affair with a student. An affair the student claims as abusive and which results in him leaving to stay with his daughter. However further abuse occurs within the teacher's life and affects both him and his daughter in deep ways.
Basically the story is an exploration of the morality, the thoughts, the actions and the reactions of the one man and his daughter. It analyses the various reactions people have to sexual abuse in as calm and sensitive a manner as possible. And in this way Disgrace examines the issue of how identity and tragedy interlink and relate.
Yet for all its positive treatment of a difficult subject Disgrace is not likeable. And this for me was mainly to do with the main teacher character: David Lurie. His treatment of sex, women and the world around him were for most of the time unlike-able. He was a womaniser, not a man of integrity who wanted to love, yet for all of that he was not a villain. He desired to be a good protective father, to look after his daughter and mend any errors he made. Perhaps he can best be described in (roughly) the book's own words: neither a bad man nor a good man.
So in the end my final conclusion is that if you don't mind reading a book that delves mainly into those issues I've mentioned this is worth a read. It's quality writing even if the present tense can confuse at times. So for it's positive qualities I provide a four star rating and must lower it to three because of the negatives. I'll split the difference and say it's worthy of three and a half stars.