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Vintage, 2003 - London (England) - 169 pages
5 Reviews
A searing portrait of a young colonial in early 1960s London -- from the two-time winner of the Booker Prize.

Youth's narrator, a student in 1950s South Africa, has long been plotting an escape from his native country. Studying mathematics, reading poetry, saving money, he tries to ensure that when he arrives in the real world he will be prepared to experience life to its full intensity, and transform it into art.

Arriving at last in London, however, he finds neither poetry nor romance. Instead he succumbs to the monotony of life as a computer programmer from which random, loveless affairs offer no relief. Devoid of inspiration, he stops writing and begins a dark pilgrimage in which he is continually tested and continually found wanting.

Youth is a remarkable portrait of a consciousness turning in on itself. J.M. Coetzee explores a young man's struggle to find his way in the world, with tenderness and a fierce clarity.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

You'd think that there'd be more action in the second part of a kind-of-auto biography, and in one sense there is more action here than in Boyhood. He has various jobs, he moves overseas, he has ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - autumnesf - LibraryThing

A strangely interesting book about a very uninteresting youth. No backbone or brains, the boy was so in love with the thought of being a poet that he never realizes that he isn't one. Love the way it was written. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

J.M. Coetzee's work includes Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace, Summertime, The Childhood of Jesus and, most recently, The Schooldays of Jesus. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.

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