Saturday, January 30, 2016

Book Club Report

The French Book Club last met on January 12, when its members discussed Au revoir là-haut by Pierre Lemaître. The book won the Prix Goncourt prize (in 2013), the most prestigious French literary award, given for "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year." This book is translated into English under the title The Great Swindle. It is a work of historical fiction.

All the members (12 in attendance) agreed that it was a great book. The author wrote an engaging story about one of the worst wars (as far as casualties are concerned), and the characters were memorable. It’s the caustic and tragic story of two soldiers who defy Society, the State, the family, their patriotic obligation, and their responsibility for their hellish situation. Even though the story is tragic, the author uses humor and irony to portray the characters and situations. After reading this book, you won’t look at military cemeteries and monuments the same way ever again.

The club next meets on February 2nd, to discuss

Nos gloires secrètes, by Tonino Benacquista. One reviewer on said, "Reading Tonino Benacquista is like listening to Mozart. Enchanting, surprising, provocative. Plot is secondary. His workshop is the human mind, its passions and foibles; he writes about odd things and unusual people who seem like ordinary people to others. It's a rich tapestry. Best read in French."

The French Language Book Club meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library. If you have an interest in reading a book in French each month, n'hésitez pas à nous joindre.

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