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Reader! Reader!

Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

Currently reading

Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

2014 Nobel Prize for Literature Winner

Missing Person - Patrick Modiano

I had never even heard of Patrick Modiano when he won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature.


I immediately went to my library's online catalog. They had a number of books (only one or two copies of each)—and most were in French. Now I can get around a menu in French, or use public transportation, or read much of a newspaper. But a Nobel Prize winner's writing? I don't think so.


So, way back in October, I requested Missing Person from my library. It was available in English, and it was not too long. A good intro to this author, I figured.


Apparently I wasn't the only one with this idea. I finally received the book a week and a half ago. Seven months of waiting in the queue.


So....the book! Wow. The pacing of the story, the cadence of the language. Very different, very clever. Very suspenseful. A hard-boiled detective novel—only the narrator is trying to find out who he himself was, pre-amnesia. The reader is just as lost as the narrator himself, even though he is researching himself, his friends, his past.


I found the end a bit unsatisfying. But I am not sure what I wanted. A neat and tidy package? I think that would be less satisfying. A grand reunion or eveyone? That too would be odd. I don't think a story like this could ever have a "satisfying" ending—just as it would not in real life.