Obooki reads a French Novel

…And, I hear you ask? – From what you claim, you’re always reading French novels.

Yes, but this time was different: – this time I read the novel, in French.

And I suppose you feel good about that, do you?

Yes, I do. I feel a sense of achievement.


In fact, it was one of my many plans this year, to read a few books in French. I was going to set myself a target of 25 – but I’d no idea how realistic this was; – not very, considering we’re up to May and I’ve only finished one. – There’s two more I’m quite close to finishing though.

To be honest, I think the main problem has been that I started with Jules Verne’s Le Tour de Monde en Quatre-Vingt Jours. – You might consider this a good place to start: it’s pretty simply written, after all; – unfortunately, the story is incredibly tedious: – basically a travelogue, with something very stereotypical occurring in each country they pass through.

What novel did I read? – Le Passager de la Pluie, by Sébastien Japrisot, a thriller (it is actually translated into English). I guess it was pretty easy-going too, as far as the French went; – and held my interest a lot more.

Next up, we get into serious territory (and part of the point of this project, which is – if they aren’t going to translate these writers into English, then …) with Régis Jauffret’s Histoire d’Amour, which again looks a) fairly easy-going in terms of vocab and sentence structure; and b) interesting. – No, you won’t find a Wikipedia page for Jauffret (in English at least), or any of his books in English (that I can see). He’s won quite a few literary prizes over there, though; – and seems to be somewhat avant-garde.

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3 thoughts on “Obooki reads a French Novel

  1. You could read Exercises In Style in the morning, L’Etranger in the afternoon and La Chute in the evening. Voila! 12% of your task accomplished in one day. I would put Proust on the back burner, however.

  2. I don’t know. They’d still take me a long time. Something tells me Queneau (of all writers) is not going to be easy for a French beginner.

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