Front Cover
Viking, 1987 - Fiction - 157 pages
17 Reviews
With the same electrical intensity of language and insight that he brought to Waiting for the Barbarians and The Master of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe-and in so doing, directs our attention to the seduction and tyranny of storytelling itself In 1720 the eminent man of letters Daniel Foe is approached by Susan Barton, lately a castaway on a desert island. She wants him to tell her story, and that of the enigmatic man who has become her rescuer, companion, master and sometimes lover: Cruso. Cruso is dead, and his manservant, Friday, is incapable of speech. As she tries to relate the truth about him, the ambitious Barton cannot help turning Cruso into her invention. For as narrated by Foe-as by Coetzee himself-the stories we thought we knew acquire depths that are at once treacherous, elegant, and unexpectedly moving.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - OscarWilde87 - LibraryThing

At only 157 pages, Foe is a rather short novel that reinvents Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. While the novel is still set in the eighteenth century, a new character is introduced in the form of Susan ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jtodd1973 - LibraryThing

Not my favorite Coetzee. The story didn't engage me the way other of his stories have. Perhaps I have a psychological block on the epistolary form--I don't care for the characters the way I should. Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1987)

J.M. Coetzee's full name is John Michael Coetzee. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1940, Coetzee is a writer and critic who uses the political situation in his homeland as a backdrop for many of his novels. Coetzee published his first work of fiction, Dusklands, in 1974. Another book, Boyhood, loosely chronicles an unhappy time in Coetzee's childhood when his family moved from Cape Town to the more remote and unenlightened city of Worcester. Other Coetzee novels are In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians. Coetzee's critical works include White Writing and Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship. Coetzee is a two-time recipient of the Booker Prize and in 2003, he won the Nobel Literature Award.

Bibliographic information