Reading in Translation: "A wonderful exercise of imagination for the lover of translation."

A harrowing early novel by one of France’s most unusual contemporary writersThe ability of the novel to evoke an expansive world while remaining concise in its storytelling is one of its most compelling qualities. It is the tale of a defining moment in the lives of its central characters, but it offers a view of a wide world that is fully alive with countless other stories of equal significance. When Volodine frees Aram Bouderbichvili, Matko Amirbekian, and Will MacGrodno from prison on the first page of his work, so too does he set loose the reader on the streets of Chamrouche to mingle with the crowds, to peer in windows, and to wonder about the machinery behind the face of this unfamiliar city. But the view that we get is disorienting—we only just begin to get to know these three characters and their surroundings before being hurled across the city to be introduced to a string quartet, a circus ringleader, a writer, and a dictatorial hopeful, all of whom will have their critical encounter with one another in the second act of the book.

Article at Reading in Translation.

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