TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

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DaveAgain
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby DaveAgain » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:06 am

Carmody wrote: I found this book sad in the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Why or why do I always read French authors who write of such tortured souls. I want to read happy French authors but find them hard to come by.

I would give this a 7/10.
I'm really surprised you feel this way, my memory of this book is that it was rather cheerful.
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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:48 pm

DaveAgain

Have you ever met people who are "cheerfull" on the outside and crying on the inside?

His mother bullied him to be everything she wanted him to be. Even from the grave...........i don't like bullies.
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby AroAro » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:02 am

I have recently read two books in French, so I decided to share with you my thoughts.

The first book was "Pierre de patience" by Atiq Rahimi. It won the Prix Goncourt in 2008 for the best book written in French. Oh my, I don't even know where to start. Not that I disliked it but I didn't like it either and the worst books are those that leave me indifferent. So we have here a story of an Afghani woman who takes care of her paralyzed husband. She can finally speak to him openly because he cannot react in any way and she is no longer afraid of him, so she reveals to him more and more secrets from her/their life. It was quite boring because in the end most of these revelations were centered around sexuality. I'm not going to argue with the author, it was his choice to bring this subject up but in the end I'm not sure it paid off. I may be misinterpreting his intentions but probably the readers were supposed to be shocked to disover that they have sex and sexual desires in Muslim countries? When it comes to the literary style, I don't really know how Rahimi writes because there was nothing special about his style - somewhat dreamy-like, in some places poetic, nothing that makes me want to discover more of his literary oeuvre. The language used was not overly complicated and the book itself is quite short, I think it is perfectly suitable for B2 level.

The other book was "C'est egal" by Agota Kristof. I really loved her "Le Grand Cahier" and her style is immediately recognizable here. This is a collection of 25 novellas, unfortunately they are not all of the same quality. Some of the novellas are really good, almost surreal, they evoke some kind of ominous atmosphere full of loneliness and feeling of lost hapiness. But others, in fact most of the novellas, are not that good, they seem to be work in progress, sketches that the author failed to finish and polish. Some are quite declarative and naive in their use of surreal elements and it was quite a cringy feeling to read them. I think it would be even ok for B1 level.

I will check what other books in French I read in recent months and will try to come back with some better recommendations!
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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:59 pm

AroAro

Thanks so much for your very comprehensive book reviews; greatly appreciated.
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby kanewai » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:33 am

AroAro wrote:The other book was "C'est egal" by Agota Kristof. I really loved her "Le Grand Cahier" and her style is immediately recognizable here.
Le grand cahier has been on my 'to-read' list for years. Did you read the full trilogy?
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby AroAro » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:34 pm

kanewai wrote:
AroAro wrote:The other book was "C'est egal" by Agota Kristof. I really loved her "Le Grand Cahier" and her style is immediately recognizable here.
Le grand cahier has been on my 'to-read' list for years. Did you read the full trilogy?


Yes, I read the full trilogy but it was 8 or 9 years ago so I don't remember much honestly, it's a blurry memory now. But I remember that "Le Grand Cahier" impressed me, I loved the style, these short phrases that leave you speechless. The other two books were probably not so memorable but still good enough (well, writing a trilogy is always a risky endeavor!). Fortunately each of her books is quite short, less than 200 pages, so you won't find yourself stuck for months reading something you don't enjoy if you decide to give it a go.
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