Youth Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Youth

In this second volume of memoirs (the first being 'Boyhood'), John is a Math and English student in Capetown, hoping to flee the country (which is in a political storm) and become a poet. He does so, arriving in London, and he doesn't feel the place is right, or the people living in it: he knows he's got talent for writing though no one seems to notice the 'sacred fire' lying within him, and he starts to suspect if poetry is what he's destined to write. Or is it prose? Or is it fiction? The book won't answer that, but the author's biography will: Coetzee won the Nobel Prize of Literature for his essays and novels. In 'Youth', John only composes his first short story, 'an experiment' with no plot.
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These artistic meditations go along with his rather promiscuous life in South Afrika and England. He's also looking for the right woman, but as his experience tells him he's not capable of engaging to anyone yet. He hasn't found the one who will look into his 'sacred fire' for life either. Is there such a woman? The book doesn't tell, and the story leaves John looking forward.
The review of this Book prepared by Augusto Wong Campos

Chapter Analysis of Youth

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   writer Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   Subsaharan African


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   White Enclave Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   descript. of female anat. (the big B's)    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   descript. of female anat. (the big V) If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Youth

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