Literature · Novels and Novellas

Foe by JM Coetzee | Book Review


I’m not fan of Robinson Crusoe, I found reading the book to be a boring and agonizing experience for the most part. Perhaps this why I was able to enjoy Foe more than Wide Sargasso Sea (I love Jane Eyre, so I wanted that book to be better). Foe also has a sense of incoherence but I felt the author manages to do it right in this case.

The premise follows Susan Barton, she was a castaway on a deserted island where she ran into a man named Cruso and his servant Friday. Once off the island she, with Friday by her side, seeks out author Daniel Foe to tell her story.

The parallels to Robinson Crusoe are obvious but the novel goes beyond that. It’s a book that shows how storytelling itself can be manipulative and deceiving.

Susan struggle to get her story told mirrors the experience of many who have a story to tell – they often can’t tell it themselves and have to seek another out to do it for them. And when they do find someone that person tries to change and bend the story to their own will.

Foe is a book that goes beyond just a response text – it is able to take elements of the more famous novel and tell a dark truth about humans and storytelling.


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