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Search tags: lit-fiction-french
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review 2016-04-17 22:34
Hill (New York Review Books Classics) - Jean Giono,Paul Eprile,David Abram

April 2016 NYRB selection.


Giono's book is a rather interesting environmental fable that stays with you. The characters aren't so much characters as society. It's rather strange, moving, and powerful.

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review 2016-03-19 15:16
It is not to be
In the Café of Lost Youth (New York Review Books Classics) - Patrick Modiano,Chris Clarke

I get why Modiano won the Nobel Prize, but for some reason he really isn't to my taste. There is music in the writing, but I really don't care about what happens to anyone or anything in this book. It's not you Modiano. It's me. We are just not meant to be.


(NYRB Bookclub selection for March 2016)

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review 2016-03-12 22:01
Milk out nose time people
Femme Fatale (Little Black Classics #15) - Guy de Maupassant

Not to everyone's taste. The most interesting are the title story (which is at once anti and pro lesbian) and "Cockcrow" which was really great (though guys might not like it).

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review 2016-01-24 21:35
NYRB Book Club Freebie - Red Lights
Red Lights - Georges Simenon,Norman Denny,Anita Brookner

Wow. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

In a brief book that will weld itself to your hands until you finish it, Simenon nails a large bunch of issues from power in marriage, masculinity, views on men and women, as well as the "romance" of the American drive.

 

(Note this was one of the "freebie" books for joining the NYRB book of the month program in Dec 2015).

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review 2016-01-08 01:51
Saving Mozart - Raphaël Jerusalmy

 

                Perhaps the greatest novel about sanatoriums is Mann’s Magic Mountain.  It’s difficult not to think of that novel when reading this one.  Jersusalmy’s style is far removed from Mann’s, though his book is just as good.  The connection comes because of what happened to Mann and his works under Nazi Germany.

 

                Jerusalmy’s novel is about Otto, a man who is slowly dying in an Austria sanatorium when the Nazis take Austria.  He finds not only things changing (he isn’t quite sure about what has happened to all his family) but also the perversion of music.  It is this that gives rise to the book’s title. Though, whether Mozart gets saved or Otto is another question.

 

                It is quite a short but lovely novel.  Told though Otto’s journal (which he hopes his son will eventually read), the story moves quickly.  Otto’s voice is quite clear, and he is as honest as he can be.  The story will appeal to those who like historical fiction as well as those who like music.

 

                Jeruslamy’s deserves credit for keeping Otto’s knowledge in the realm of believability. Therefore, we know exactly what his tenet’s husband is doing, but Otto doesn’t – not really.  In many ways, it is this underplays/understatement that is the book’s best selling point.

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