Thursday Night Ramblings: The Three-Language Triple-Header


I have three major novels in progress, one in French, one in English and one in Spanish. I rarely have something going in all the languages I read in at the same time, for the most part because I don’t read in Spanish as much as I used to.

The French book is Au revoir là-haut from Pierre Lemaitre. This book was the Prix Goncourt in 2013. The story starts in the trenches of the 1st World War, and at the 50% mark, we are following some of the main characters attempts to survive or to profit from postwar recovery activities. I have no clue where the book is going, no sense of how the plot will continue unfolding. I am quite taken with it in spite of a number of quite unlikeable characters.

The English book is Thomas Pynchon’s latest novel, Bleeding Edge. So far, the story centers on Maxine, a financial fraud investigator living and working in New York. The story is set in 2001, just before the events of September 11th. So far, there has been hints that this will feature in the book. Maxine’s ex, the father of her children, just rented office space at the World Trade Center. I had a hard time getting into this book. I even told my husband I did not really like it. And then, one evening this week, I just could not stop chuckling over the amazing dialogue. So my husband said: “Stop laughing! You don’t even like this book!” Well, maybe I just started liking it… The language can be a little off-putting though. There is all the financial fraud investigation vocabulary, which gets complicated by the dotcom and hacking lingo, and pretty thick slang mixed in, with some Yiddish thrown in. You can guess that a lot of words in that book are not in my Kobo’s English dictionary, so I have to guess the meaning based on context.

The Spanish book is Isabel Allende’s latest novel, El juego de Ripper, an attempt at writing a mystery novel that, so far, sounds like a typical Allende novel full of quirky characters. While the first two books I mentioned are in electronic format, the Allende is a paper novel (and a hard cover!).

Well, back to reading for now. I should have at least one of these books finished by the end of the weekend, maybe even two.

2 responses »

    • Hi!
      Wrote and posted by comments today! Loved it, some quite unexpected turns, felt I was walking the street of Paris with the characters, good humor… but did need a dictionary for some French worlds I had never seen before.

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