Coetzee’s extraordinary new novel ‘The Death of Jesus’

Leo Robson at The New Statesman:

The Death of Jesus abounds in definitional disputes, hairline distinctions and logical paradoxes. When David needs a transfusion, there is dispute over whether blood is best understood by science or primal instinct; Dmitri thinks that the doctor’s “types” are less important than a donor’s personal affinity with the patient. Simón shifts the goalposts on whether David should be treated as “an exception”, depending on what kind of treatment (medical, pedagogical) he is requesting. David dismisses the legitimacy of the word “why” when he isn’t the one using it and insists that things “don’t have to be true to be true”. And towards the end, the reader is prompted to wonder if David’s end isn’t really a beginning? There’s a rumour that on dying you “wake up on some foreign shore” – as Simón and David did at the start of the first volume – and are forced “to play out the rigmarole all over again”.

more here.