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2017 50 Book Challenge

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    27. So You don't Get Lost in the Neighbourhood, by Patrick Modiano
    My rating, 2 out of 5 stars

    Since Modiano won the Nobel I have been keeping my eye out for his books, with little luck. So I was keen to read this when I saw it at the library.

    The premise is interesting. Jean, a middle-aged author is contacted out of the blue by a stranger who has found his long-lost address book. When they meet up the stranger, Gilles, pushes him for more detail on a name in the address book, Jean can't remember anything at all about this person.

    In such a short novel it's difficult to say much more and explain my opinion of it without spoiling.

    The novel plays out like a mystery, as Jean digs deeper into his past with the help of a dossier that Gilles's girlfriend has given him. He start to recall shadowy details of a woman in his childhood called Annie Astrand.

    At the denouement, it turns out that Modiano does not explain the mystery; neither what happened nor the fate of any of the characters is resolved. Everybody remains a cypher and the plot is intentionally not resolved. My overwhelming response was one of disgust at being manipulated by an author playing silly experimental games. Almost any other ending would have been preferable to this unresolved mess.
     
  2. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Collected stories of Lydia Davis. Available in one volume, and probably the most influential experimental story writer, so...awesome.

    Also J Robert Lennon's short story book again, a direct descendent. Really, really good.
     
  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    I haven't read it yet, but if you like experimental short stories, you might want to check out The High Places, by Australian writer Fiona McFarlane. It just won the Dylan Thomas Prize.
     

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