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French Exit: Maybe a Turn-off to Miss....

Patrick deWitt's French Exit a strange book! Thankfully, it's not as gruesome as his The Sisters Brothers, but at least there he addresses some interesting things, among them the mythology of the West and the damage done by mining. Here we've got a mother and son couple who've gone through billions and now find themselves reduced to retreating to a borrowed apartment in Paris.

Poor them!

DeWitt's novel reminded me a little of Boris Vian's cult favourite L'Écume des jours (called, improbably, Froth on the Daydream in its English translation) in that the characters move through a number of adventures in a dreamlike Paris, heading toward an irrevocable ending. If deWitt were inspired by Vian, he is not alone: En attendant Bojangles (Waiting for Bojangles in English) by Olivier Bourdeau also shares an uncanny resemblance with Vian's book.

But playing the game of literary sleuthing is not enough to give deWitt's book more than a passable rating. Maybe better to read Vian and be done with it. Or better yet, go to Paris and live your own quirky adventure.

(This French Exit, is not to be confused with Brexit, by the way, and I'm looking forward to some sharp-tongued Brit writing a satire about what's happening in the UK at the moment.)

This post first appeared on Not So Solitary A Pleasure: A Blog About Books, please read the originial post: here

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French Exit: Maybe a Turn-off to Miss....


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