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37.2 Le Matin [French] [Mass Market Paperback]

Philippe Djian

RRP: £7.60
Price: £6.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Formidable!! 24 Jun 2013
By Surferofromantica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well, since I've seen the movie so many times, and since I've read the book in English, there was nothing left to do but to read the book in its original French version, right?

It's been 20 years since I've read a book in French, so it was not such easy going, but I found that it was also not as difficult as I thought it would be - and with its many long descriptive passages written quasi-surrealistic, opinionated slang, it was not an easy read all, but I found that there were whole passages that I could understand well, while many others made no impression whatsoever (in other words, they might as well have been written in another language - oh, actually, they were!). But I enjoyed the prose in parts, like when Zorg (he's never named in the book - only Betty, Bob, Annie, Eddie and Lisa have names) tastes picnic food:

"On a passe un moment a s'installer en rigolant puis on a pris l'apéritif dehors sur un bout de rocher. Il était tout chaud. J'ai ferme les yeux a moitié dans le soleil couchant dit j'ai coupe l'air pur au bourbon avec un bonne provision d'olives noires a porter de la main. c'était celles que je préférais, avec le noyau qui se détache facilement de la chair et un peu de calme tout autour. Je me suis allonge sur un coude et a ce moment-la je me suis aperçu qu'il y avait des petits machins brillants dans le sol. Sous le soleil rasant, le terrain s'est mis a scintiller comme un robe de princesse. Bon Dieu, c'est pas vrai, c'est dingue, je me suis dit en baillant."

Then there's that very strange scene Zorg has at the doctor's office, some time after Betty tells Zorg that she hears voices:

"On est rentres deux jours plus tard et j'ai pris aussitôt rendez-vous chez le docteur. Je me sentais fatigue et j'avais la langue couverte de boutons. Il m'a fait asseoir entres ses jambes. Il portait un tenue de judoka et une petit ampoule brillait sur son front. J'ai ouvert la bouche la mort dans l'âme. Ca a dure trois secondes."
""Survitaminose!" Il a fait."
"Pendant qui'l remplissait les papiers, j'ai tousse delicatement dans mon poing:"
""Ah, docteur, je voulais vous dire... Il y a aussi une petite chose qui me tracasse...""
""Huh...?""
""Par moments, j'entends des voix...""
""C'est rien, il a répondu.""
""Vous êtes sûr...?""
"Il s'est penche en travers de son bureau pour me passerl' ordonnance. Ses yeux étaient devenus deux fentes noires minuscules et une espèce de sourire lui tordait les lèvres."
""Ecoutez-moi, jeune homme", il a ricane. "Entendre des voix ou pointer pendant quarante ans de sa vie ou défiler derrière un drapeau ou lire les comptes rendus de la Bourse ou se faire bronzer avec les lampes... est-ce que ça fait un différence, pur vous...? Non, croyez-moi, viols avez tort de vous inquiéter, on a tous nos petites problèmes...""

Somehow, in French, it just sounds brisker.

I also learned some interesting words and phrases, most of them slang, like that classic scene when Bob tells Zorg "mine has a fire in her crotch and yours is half crazy", in the original it's more like "La mienne a le feu au cul et la tienne est a moitié folle...". Interesting.

It's great to read a book you like very much in its original language. I should do this more often.
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