Life and Times of Michael K Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Life and Times of Michael K

The story of Michael K is set in South Africa during the 70s when civil war is taking place. At first the reader could think that this is a book about racial conflicts but it goes beyond that, it is a story of a man who has been brought up as an outcast, someone who has no place in the turbulent society of those times. Michael has a hare lip and he is also a bit slow.
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The story begins when he is 31 years old and he has to help his mother who is seriously ill. As her dream is to go back to the place where she spent her best moments of her life, Michael decides to make this come true. He builds a cart to take her there and leave the place where they are living. It will not be easy because they need permits to move there, permits they are not able to get.

Anna K, his mother, dies along the way. Michael does not want to resign. He wants to get there on his own and to get his mother's ashes there.
The review of this Book prepared by Marta Garay

When Michael K's mother dies during a journey back to her home he finds himself in an alien world, a black man in a part of South Africa patrolled by the army. When he is imprisoned anything seems better and he escapes back into the violence around him. This is a moving story that cries out against the sadness of a system in place where neither white nor black can emerge the winner.
The review of this Book prepared by Penny

Chapter Analysis of Life and Times of Michael K

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   racism!!!! Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Black people in America/Europe    -   African Blacks Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   Mother Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed    -   blue collar Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Black (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Life and Times of Michael K

J.M. Coetzee Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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