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FICTION

HONEYMOON by Patrick Modiano (Verba Mundi: $19.95; 119 pp.) Seemingly out of nowhere, Jean B., the narrator of “Honeymoon,” leaves his comfortable marriage and career as a documentary filmmaker to hole up alone in a Parisian suburb. Once there, time, reality and personal identity become confused as Jean slowly uncovers, or invents--it is never clear--the lives of Rigaud and Ingrid, a couple he met many years earlier. Beautifully translated by Barbara Wright, Patrick Modiano’s writing is deceptively simple. Taken individually, each scene, each sentence even, is quite clear, yet by the novel’s conclusion, it feels as if one is looking at a piece of fabric that subtly changes color every time the light hits it, creating a myriad impressions. For some readers, this type of fiction is disorienting, while others may thrive on the ambiguity. The one aspect of “Honeymoon” that needs adjustment is the price. At $19.95, this slim volume, a novella really, could use a companion piece.


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