Coetzee is one of my favourite writers. Not because he is so much better, but because
a) his range of voices appeals to me.
b) He, with his Waiting for the Barbarians, got me into serious reading.
c) I found this forum by googling Disgrace.
He is a really depressed guy, judging from his books, but he handles that depression well, analysing it rigorously and in a detached(I spelt this wrong, didn't I?) manner. Very often, we see his own depression extending to the world and the world working its way into him.
Dusklands: A story in two parts, something like a rehash of Lord of the Flies. The first part is about a propaganda creator in the Vietnam war, and the second the story of a merchant/explorer in the early days of South African colonialism. Both of these pieces are highly psychedelic, and (surprisingly enough) come together quite well as a novel. My rating:
In The Heart of the Country: Set of diary entries of a lonely young woman trapped in a South African farm. Again, psychedelic. My rating:
Waiting for the Barbarians: A district magistrate of the border town of an unnamed empire trying to deal with Government officials wreaking havoc in the barbarian situation. Possibly his best(all such claims on general consensus).
Life & Times of Michael K: Black (never actually said in the book) hare-lipped not-too-bright young man finds true freedom. Second of three candidates for the title of his best.
Foe: Interpretative rehash of/sequel to Robinson Crusoe. Haven't read it.
Age of Iron: Dying college professor coming face-to-face with horrors of Apartheid. Haven't read it.
The Master of Petersburg: Written after Coetzee's son's death, account of the life of Dostoevsky right after his stepson's death. Too searing; coudn't finish it (because of lack of time, actually ).
Boyhood: Semi-memoir, vol I
Disgrace: Old man coming to terms with a new paradigm of power in his native South Africa. Third candidate for his best. (going to reread this properly in December).
Youth: Semi-memoir, vol II
Elizabeth Costello: Coetzee-ish female writer giving life-lessons or something of the sort. Couldn't get past the first chapter.
Slow Man: Some guy loses his leg, gets grumpy, Costello from above comes to help him. Will read after former.
Diary of a Bad Year: Arrogant author shown his place in life by hot young woman and snobby boyfriend in a delightfully experimental novel. , because the human story was a bit too thin.
Summertime: Semi-memoir, vol III (final one, it would seem).
First guy to get Booker twice(Life & Time of Michael K and Disgrace)
Won the Nobel in '03
He used to be South African, but has now shifted to Australia.
Threads here about his books:
Diary of a Bad Year
Waiting for the Barbarians
Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life