In the stillness of his Paris apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of total solitude. Then a surprising phone call shatters the silence of an unusually hot September, and the threatening voice on the other end of the line leaves Daragane wary but irresistibly curious. Read more...
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Publisher: Mariner Books$14.95
In the stillness of his Paris apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of total solitude. Then a surprising phone call shatters the silence of an unusually hot September, and the threatening voice on the other end of the line leaves Daragane wary but irresistibly curious. Almost at once, he finds himself entangled with a shady gambler and a beautiful, fragile young woman, who draw Daragane into the mystery of a decades-old murder. The investigation will force him to confront the memory of a trauma he had all but buried.With So You Don t Get Lost in the Neighborhood Patrick Modiano adds a new chapter to a body of work whose supreme psychological insight and subtle, atmospheric writing have earned him worldwide renown including the Nobel Prize in Literature. This masterly novel, now translated into twenty languages, penetrates the deepest enigmas of identity and compels us to ask whether we ever know who we truly are."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-06
- Reviewer: Staff
A quietly haunting search for the truth—or at least for the facts—of a postwar French childhood, Nobel-winner Modiano’s novel spins out over a summer in which “everything is uncertain.” The quest begins with a phone call: elderly, isolated writer Jean Daragane has lost his address book on a train, and a man named Gilles Ottolini has found it. Ottolini offers to return the book, but when the two meet in a Paris cafe, he demands information about one of the people listed: Guy Torstel, whose name also appears in one of Jean’s early novels, Le Noir de l’été (The Black of Summer). Although he cannot immediately remember Torstel and is reluctant to engage with the outside world (“in his solitude, he had never felt so light-hearted”), Jean nevertheless finds himself reading through a dossier about a 1951 murder case, given to him by Gilles’s girlfriend, Chantal Grippay, and encountering in these papers names that were once familiar to him, including Torstel. Modiano’s text rewards the patient reader—as this time-hopping account of coincidences, uncertainties, and echoes of a half-forgotten history unfolds, “the present and the past merge together,” building toward a powerful, memorable conclusion. (Sept.)