Thursday, September 24, 2015

EAT HIM IF YOU LIKE by Jean Teule


                                           


                                          5.5
Pages: 112
Publisher: Gallic Books
Publication Date: November 1,  2011
Copy: Publisher


Summary
A true story. Tuesday 16 August 1870, Alain de MonΓ©ys makes his way to the village fair. He plans to buy a heifer for a needy neighbour and find a roofer to repair the roof of the barn of a poor acquaintance. He arrives at two o'clock. Two hours later, the crowd has gone crazy; they have lynched, tortured, burned and eaten him. How could such a horror be possible? With frightening precision, Jean TeulΓ© reconstructs each step of one of the most shameful stories in the history of nineteenth-century France.

My view
5 stars stand for the author, Jean Teule, an erudite, wonderful writer.
I am afraid this translation will keep many from pursuing this author any further, which would be indeed a mistake. " Eat Him If You Like " is a historical novel. Yes it is hard to read, as are many horror novels  we devour ( no pun intended ). Why does this story disgust us ? The fear that we humans are able of such attrocities? We know to well in 2015 that it is so.
The time period was a time of war, change and uprising in France. The goodhearted man found himself surrounded by an illiterate mob in a neighbouring village to his own, certainly a tragic step . In times of upheaval, what might seem right otherwise, can send an uneducated mob to do what ordinarily they would not envisage.
Perhaps the visuals we receive today, via internet do not affect us as much as the written word when such atrocities happen...

Thank you to Gallic Books and NetGalley for this copy in return for an honest review

Sunday, September 20, 2015

TRISTANO DIES by Antonio Tabucchi


                                         

                                        5.5

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Steerforth Press

Pages: 160

Copy: Publisher

Summary:
It is a sultry August at the very end of the twentieth century, and Tristano is dying. A hero of the Italian Resistance, Tristano has called a writer to his bedside to listen to his life story, though, really, “you don’t tell a life…you live a life, and while you’re living it, it’s already lost, has slipped away.” Tristano Dies, one of Antonio Tabucchi’s major novels, is a vibrant consideration of love, war, devotion, betrayal, and the instability of the past, of storytelling, and what it means to be a hero.

My view;
This is my first novel by Antonio Tabucchi.

First, I'd like to mention a touching story at the onset of this novel, about elephants...yes...elephants. Antonio Tabucchi worked magic introducing them along with his character Tristano. Although they are not an integral part of this beautiful novel, Tristano shares their ritual. This being a Galley, I will wait until the novel is published to share said ritual.
As the novel begins, Tristano's life is coming to it's end, one last request remains.  Our protagonist summons an author he keeps in high esteem, hired to transcribe his long life by proxy.
Tristano remembers his youth, wearing the enemy's uniform, Greece, Daphne, his love, life... it's simplicity it's challenges. Morphine for his pain, color his memories.  Each memory carries subtle details, nuances unknown to the hired author, who continues to write what he hears, the soul of these words belonging to Tristano alone, not ever to be found within the finished memoir.
Such a beautiful novel for sure, to be read when one has time to reflect on life.

I received this galley from Archipelago and NetGalley in return for an honest review.