Nicholas Mosley

Principled Philanderer

Disgrace

By

Secker & Warburg 220pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

This intelligent, interesting and very readable novel is ultimately depressing, and thus is representative of much good writing today.

David Lurie is a fifty-two-year-old, twice-divorced Professor of Communications in Cape Technical University in South Africa. His course used to be called Modern Languages, but this has been renamed in accordance with ‘rationalisation’. He has no enthusiasm for his job and few interests outside it. He keeps himself going by finding outlets for sex.

He has a weekly arrangement with a call-girl, but when this ends he pursues and has a brief affair with one of his twenty-year-old students. She is compliant; but her boyfriend and parents find out, and a complaint is lodged against him. He admits his guilt and loses his job. It is intimated that if he makes a public and emotional show of repentance he might soon be reinstated. He refuses to do this, explaining to his daughter that one should take responsibility for, but not be ashamed of, the pursuit of natural desires.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,