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Desert by [Le Clezio, J.M.G., J.M.G Le Clezio]
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Desert Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 362 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

'A rich, sprawling, searching, poetic, provocative, broadly historic and demanding novel, which in all those ways displays the essence of Le Clézio. As a reflection on colonization and its legacy, it is painfully relevant after 30 years.' --New York Times

'Dense, highly measured, intensely imagistic... A book one must admire for its profound seriousness, for its scorched-earth poetics and for its rendering of a lost world.' --Douglas Kennedy, The Times

'[Le Clezio's] tales have epic and exotic qualities...he writes with a moral seriousness and engagement... These stories of displacement and exile are both timely and epic... This is one of Le Clezio's major works... It reveals the history of colonial France in the Arab world.'
--Andrew Hussey, Financial Times

Book Description

The international bestseller, by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2008, available for the first time in English translation.

Hailed by the Swedish Academy as Le Clézio's 'definitive breakthrough as a novelist', Desert is an epic novel that spans the twentieth century and ranges across two continents, from the North African desert to the streets of Marseilles.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S7BBP4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #148,333 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prompt delivery and book as described - great!
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Format: Paperback
Le Clezio's 'Desert' is an elegy to a bygone age, to a lost way of life and to a lost people. Ostensibly, the novel links two children across the ages; a young boy, Nour, at the turn of the twentieth century travelling with his tribe across the desert to escape the encroaching Christian colonisers; and an orphaned girl, many years later, who despite living in a shanty town with her aunt, is relentlessly drawn to the desert and to the nomadic way of life. It's a loose link though and like the sands they both walk on, any significance between their stories shifts as the novel progresses.

Where Le Clezio's novel is beautiful is in its depiction of the desert. This is both broadly cinematic, full of the wide horizon scorched by the burning sun and intensely personal with the description of the trail left in the sand by a passing snake or the sharp stones that cut the feet, among others. Le Clezio spends a huge proportion of the novel deep in the sands of the desert, bringing the heat, the wind and the grains of sand so vividly to life that nothing else seems to have any real significance.

In many ways therefore, Nour's story (by far the shorter of the two) puts a human context to the desert. His life shows the ancient synchronicity between man and the extremes of the desert, stripped as his story is of almost all traditional or religious details. Lalla's story in turn seems simply to underline the atmosphere he portrays in the desert: Her story is far from entirely credible (how does she travel without papers,how does she achieve so much in so little time, how does she return without the ability to read and why is everyone suddenly obsessed with her eyes?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book began with a wonderful description of walking through the north African desert, but it became repetitive and tedious. A succession of swollen lips, parched throats and bleeding feet, with one day much like the next. That story is told through the eyes of teenage Noor. A later story is intertwined with it, the story of teenage Lalla, who eventually emigrates to the slums of Marseilles. I found the descriptions of Marseilles more interesting than those of the desert. Lalla's life in Marseilles becomes unbelievable: she becomes a photographer's model, despite being several months pregnant. The pregnancy seems to last for a year or more, and she returns to north Africa to give birth in the sand dunes.
The book is translated from the French into American English, which can be irritating. Nevertheless there is a flow of balladry about it, and the story is reminiscent of Homeric epics. There is a political message about the effects of colonialism on the conquered people. Perhaps there is meant to be a glimmer of hope with the birth of Lalla's child - or perhaps not.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An exhilarating glimpse into a rarefied world of the senses -- a world that is stripped clean of all but the basics but all that is needed to experience rapture -- and this in comparison to the sordid nature of the world in general. A trip for the soul - tragic but uplifting at the same time.
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