Posted on February 27, 2018
I got to say Coetzee is now one of my favorite authors now. The way she wrote the final 2 chapters is crazy I honestly feel very conflicted about it I both hate the way she ended it but the way she got to the ending is soooo very good that I feel I can’t be mad at it. It’s like the old saying “it’s not the destination but the journey”, so can I really be mad about how she ended it if I love how she got to it? I don’t know I’m conflicted but that’s my problem. So I feel bad for the magistrate like he is living in a society that is punishing him for having good moral sense but at least he is not dead and as an added bonus he gets a front row seat to see the fall of the empires frontier, so you know that’s pretty cool kind of like karma? The new guy Mandel I feel is a joke, he is no Joll, Joll would have kept the peace in the frontier but Mandel does nothing. He has complaints coming in from the village people and he makes promises but does not action and during a time of war you want to make sure the people are calm and level headed otherwise you start to lose their loyalty and you do not want to lose that, but let’s not forget Mandels men, the men who did not march off to war with Joll and stayed behind to keep watch and protect the village in case barbarians came. However, the men who stayed are not doing this at all, instead they are getting drunk more than usual and stealing goods from the townspeople, that’s not good that in return creates anger and resentment toward the army and in association the government. Mandel thinks creating fear is going to solve all his problems but it doesn’t especially since his men felt fear and abandoned the town….kind of cowardly if you ask me. Now the ending…..OMG the ending got me mad.. where are the barbarians? Did they stop cause they felt satisfied? are they retreating back further and creating a new land? I don’t know but Coetzee seems to think this is funny keeping us on cliff to just hang. It’s a good troll though I did enjoy the book(until the ending) I still want an epilogue as to what happened.