A French buddy read with Tannat (who doesn't seem terribly inclined to make progress rapidly with this book, either) -- and since it's not only a book originally written in a language other than English, and in a language different from my mother tongue (plus, a book by a Québecois, i.e., non-Anglo-Saxon author), I'm also counting it towards square 7 of the 16 Festive Tasks (International Human Rights Day).
Vivre au Max is the first half of a two-part novel entitled Le vide ("the void," "the emptiness"). It's also the title of a TV show which, if it were real, would make the likes of Jerry Springer look like innocent choir boys. The show promises to fulfill three candidates' wildest and most unreachable dreams per episode (at least 2 out of 3 of these dreams, or "trips," typically being sordid beyond compare): "au max" is a word play on both "to the max" and its creator's and host's name -- Maxime Lavoie, former president and CEO of a ski apparel company founded by his father; a position, that Max (a would-be humanitarian and intellectual) had taken on only half-heartedly to begin with, and quickly got fed up with when he realized that his high-flying notions to turn the company into a model of social virtues -- at the shareholders' cost -- were not going to be put into practice in any way that would have counted.
Max Lavoie is one of three men on which the story centers; the other two are a cop named Pierre Sauvé, who is investigating a quadruple shooting that initially looks every bit like a case of violent domestic revenge, and a psychologist named Fédéric Farland, who ... well, let's just say that having gotten bored with life's ordinary thrills, he is seeking ever more exotic and dangerous ones. Of the three protagonists, I really only ever took to Pierre -- certainly not Frédéric, whom I hated pretty much from the first page of his appearance (and not merely for his utter amorality and contempt of life); and while I was unsure initially about Max, he lost my sympathy when I had clued into where the story was headed. Not that I feel very much like bothering to find out: I still don't get what, deep down, Mr. Senécal's point in writing this book ultimately might have been, but I don't care about two of the three principal characters, and if the story is headed anywhere near where I think it is headed, it's not the sort of thing I need in my life at all.
That said, the buddy read has accomplished its primary goal, in bringing back the fun of reading something in a different language than German or (mostly) English. So Tannat, if / whenever you finish this and aren't too ennuie on your part, I'd definitely be up for another one ...
Blessings are not found in the possessions we have, but in the people we love and the memories we make. Tess has wealth and family, but is finding it hard to obtain the one thing she wants. To be a mother. Can a rash decision and a brooding loner be the answer to her long waiting dreams? Between You and Me paves a sentimental, yet realistic road to the center of the heart with angsty romance and emotional fulfilling characters.
Quite standard thriller, which can be nice from time to time, but my biggest problem were the negative clichés surrounding the characters, i.e. the criminals are all Eastern Europeans, the young woman is naive and need two strong men to protect her, etc.
Gelezen voor de discussie op Ezzulia.nl
Ik had ooit een heel klein boekje van den Tex gelezen en dat stond me niet bij als bijzonder goed, maar dat is iets waarvan ik vind dat het heel veel voorkomt bij van dat soort korte verhalen, de schrijver komt er nooit helemaal tot zijn recht. Vandaar dat ik dit nieuwe boek zeker eens een kans wilde geven.
Het is een standaard Nederlands verhaal. Ten minste, ik heb het al vaker voorbij zien komen op tv en in boeken. Clue is een aanslag te voorkomen. Niet bijster origineel misschien maar de uitwerking kan het verschil helemaal maken.
Helaas vond ik dat de personages heel stereotyp werden neergezet. Een kleine greep uit het aanbod; Oost-Europeanen zijn criminelen, jonge vrouw is naief, durft haar moeder niet tegen te spreken, valt op verkeerde mannen en heeft twee sterke figuren nodig om haar te beschermen; politieman vereenzaamd van gezin; hacker die nauwelijks daglicht ziet. Het was allemaal iets wat ik al te vaak gezien had om het nog echt leuk te vinden.
Daarnaast las het boek zeker wel lekker en is het leuk vermaak voor zo tussendoor in de trein...