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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light summer read, 30 Jun 2009
By 
DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Summer of Katya (Paperback)
After a bit of a slow start, this book became a quick, enjoyable read, let down at the end by a slightly silly finalé.

Set during the long hot summer preceeding the First World War, the narrator is a young doctor on his first posting. He finds himself in a French village with little to do, in a practice devoted to pampering wealthy middle-aged women. When the mysterious Katya appears requiring medical aid for her brother, he is besotted.
The book's strengths are the atmospheric rendering of that Summer of 1914 and wonderful descriptions of a traditional Basque fete.
The characterisations are a little weak but the book is short and to the point, a good beach read, let down by a slightly unbelievable ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book, slow reading advised, 14 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Summer of Katya (Paperback)
This is not a page turner, but a brilliant, slow-moving psychological thriller. Some say the 19th century ended only in 1914 with the outbreak of WW I [and the 20th century in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall]. The life of newly-graduated medical doctor Jean-Marc Montjean (25)(JMM) straddles both centuries. JMM wrote this account of the fateful events of the summer of Katya in 1914 which deeply marked him, only in 1938 when he returns to where it all happened. In 1914, as in 1938, the air is rife with rumors about war...
In 1914, JMM works in Salies in his Basque home area as a temporary understudy of the resident doctor Gros, who is awesomely ugly, but a great success with women of a certain age, who patronize this spa village, a delightful book character. JMM is totally bored until handsome Katya seeks his help when her twin brother Paul breaks his collar bone. The twins (26) live with their father, a historian specialized in medieval village life, in a rented, chilly, half-ruined summer house 2.5 km out of Salies. He bandages Paul and before returning to his lodgings in Salies, JMM realizes he is in love with Katya.
No reader/reviewer on any Amazon site has dared to disclose fully what happens next. When love grows between Katya and JMM, her twin brother Paul warns JMM repeatedly to stop meeting Katya, with ever more contrived stories of why his family fled from his beloved Paris to the foothills of the Pyrenees and a damp ruin...
Katya is either alert, daydreaming or demure. She is the most enigmatic character in the book. Her twin brother Paul is a truly decadent male, a copy of J.-K. Huysmans hero Des Essentes in his 1884 novel "Against Nature". JMM is the only character foreshadowing the 20th century, questioning what is wrong with the Age of Grace and foreshadowing the Era of Efficiency. Finally, the twins' scholarly father appears unaware of his surroundings.
Trevanian (T) is the pen name of a Canadian professor of linguistics and communication sciences in the USA. His unique gift was (he passed away in 2005) his ability to grasp and copy the writing styles of bestselling - or classical writers. He could hardly believe the success of "The Eiger Sanction", a parody of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and wrote another, "The Loo Sanction". "The Main", written in the present tense about a widowed police veteran in Montreal in the mid-1970s, is a homage to Emile Zola. The worldwide success of these novels prompted him to turn his back on teaching and the USA and settle with his family in French Basque country, which forms the backdrop of "Shibumi", a parody of the popular Ninja books written by e.g. James Clavell and Eric von Lustbader in the late 1970s. And of this book, which is a brilliant horror story in the vein of Marcel Proust and J.-K. Huysmans. [Finally, readers should consult Wikipedia to find out how versatile a writer Trevanian was].
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Summer of Katya, 14 April 2014
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This review is from: The Summer of Katya (Paperback)
This a well written piece which successfully evokes the feel of rural French war time living. The characters are all superbly assembled and play their part to the full in this delightful, imaginative and ultimately thrilling book. You will fall in love with Katya yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Never heard of this before but it was great, 20 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Summer of Katya (Paperback)
Really enjoyed this book - beautifully written and with a superb twist in the end !
Will definitely check out others by this author.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 9 Sep 2007
By 
Stephen (Godalming, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Summer of Katya (Paperback)
I had never heard of Trevanian before and bought the book on a whim. I am so glad I did. I read a lot of books and found this one outstanding. The writing is entertaining and extremely humorous it had me, literally, laughing out loud. I will be buying more books by Trevanian on the strength of this one.
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The Summer of Katya
The Summer of Katya by Trevanian (Paperback - 28 Jun 2005)
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