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Underground Time [Paperback]

Delphine de Vigan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 10.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition 4.12  
Paperback 5.59  
Paperback, 4 April 2011 10.44  
Audio Download, Unabridged 9.80 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

4 April 2011

Everyday Mathilde takes the Metro, then the commuter train to the office of a large multi-national where she works in the marketing department. Every day, the same routine, the same trains. But something happened a while ago - she dared to voice a different opinion from her moody boss, Jacques. Bit by bit she finds herself frozen out of everything, with no work to do.

Thibault is a paramedic. Every day he drives to the addresses he receives from his controller. The city spares him no grief: traffic jams, elusive parking spaces, delivery trucks blocking his route. He is well aware that he may be the only human being many of the people he visits will see for the entire day and is well acquainted with the symptomatic illnesses, the major disasters, the hustle and bustle and, of course, the immense, pervading loneliness of the city.

Before one day in May, Mathilde and Thibault had never met. They were just two anonymous figures in a crowd, pushed and shoved and pressured continuously by the loveless, urban world.

Underground Time is a novel of quiet violence - the violence of office-bullying, the violence of the brutality of the city - in which our two characters move towards an inevitable meeting.

'Two solitary existences cross paths in this poignant chronicle, a new testimony to de Vigan's superb eloquence' Lire

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Underground Time + No and Me
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (4 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408811111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408811115
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



'This novel is a thing of poetic beauty' (The Times)

'Bittersweet...delightfully depicted...there is no doubt all ages will find much to relish in this deceptively simple tale that is touching and enlightening' (The Herald)

'One of those special stories that everyone should read - and then think about, often and deeply' (Eileen Battersby, Irish Times)

Book Description

Translated from the French by George Miller

The new novel from the author of No and Me

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did it have to end!!! 9 May 2011
By Jan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed "No and Me" a huge amount when I read it sometime last year, so I was delighted to find this new book by Delphine de Vigan. This book is wonderful! I picked it up and did not put it down until I had finished reading it - I just did not want to break the spell! The action all takes place in Paris on a single day in May and it follows the lives of two interesting, but deeply unhappy people, Mathilde and Thibault. These two have never actually met but at times during this day their paths come very close to crossing until.....read it and find out!!

Poor Mathilde is a single parent who is being horribly bullied by her boss for reasons only he knows about and her unhappiness at work is starting to affect her home life too. Emergency doctor Thibault has just decided to give up on an unsatisfactory, one-sided relationship and on this day everything, particularly the Paris traffic, seems to have taken sides against him. Both of these good people deserve more from life. They deserve to be appreciated, properly rewarded and most of all - they deserve to be loved.

Paris is one of my favourite cities and I had no trouble visualising Mathilde's journey on the Metro and the RER and the kind of cafes they, separately, frequent. It all seems so real, I felt I was sat next to them. My only complaint is that I did not want this to end. I want to know what happens to them tomorrow, the day after, next week.... I want a happy ending!!!

This story is beautifully,elegantly and sensitively written - huge praise must go to George Miller for the wonderfully sympathetic translation. This really is a joy to read. There are no car chases, or towering infernos, this is a book about real people in the real world.

Does anyone remember "The Naked City"?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern version of Mrs Dalloway 18 May 2011
By wacata
This was my first book from the author, hence I cannot compare with previous novels. It is a tale of loneliness, ignorance and of gradual giving up on humanity. How many times we have felt what heroine Mathilde feels how many times we have been surrounded ...with masses of people and we never felt more alone and unhappy? I have been totally drawn to the story and I have finished the book in one go and just like our heroine i have gasped for air......Just like her i have told myself how would it be not to wake up, not to have to go to work and face the world and just like her i have picked up the pieces of me and i carried on as if nothing happened. I loved it, I loved reading it i loved talking about it with my friends and most of all i loved its literal style. short simple sentences, harsh truth co responded with the blankness of the language. However, like a true romantic or a believer in 'happy endings' I was disillusioned with the ending. Was this the end of it all, is it never gonna get better ?? is life really so static and empty? are those two loners ever gonna get together? How come they met and it meant nothing? How many people i have met like that and only if i behaved differently they could have enter mylife and it could have been better....or worse.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. Simply Wonderful 18 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just different, stylish writing. A joy to read and a book I will re-read time and again. If you fancy a change from the norm, this book is the one.
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