- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (6 Sept. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0002712245
- ISBN-13: 978-0002712248
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Opposing Shore Paperback – 6 Sep 1993
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A vividly evocative novel of military tensions and menacing landscapes from one of the finest French writers of the twentieth century. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Julien Gracq (the pseudonym of Louis Poirier) was born in 1910 in Saint-le-Vieil. His three other novels have appeared in English as A Dark Stranger, The Castle of Argol, and Balcony in the Forest. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I feel that it's one of those books that needs to be read again to fully appreciate its literary merits.
Comparisons have been made with Dino Buzzati's 'The Tartar Steppe', which I would highly recommend.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A few caveats/comments. First, I read it in the original French Le Rivage des Syrtes (French Edition), not in this English translation, but I doubt that the translator can mess up such a fine style and the imagery. Second, the blurb says Gracq received the Goncourt prize for it. Julien Gracq REFUSED the Goncourt, he despised the Parisian literary circles and by 1951 decided to stay in the margin. He stuck to his publisher José Corti rather than switch to the fancy Gallimard after his success (as Proust did) (or other publishing houses for the fakes and the selfpromoters). Third, this book came out a few years after Buzzati's "deserto", but before Buzzati was translated into French. I wonder if Gracq had heard of the "deserto"; the coincidence is too strong to be ignored.
Most of the novel's plot takes place near the old navy base, which is surrounded by a desert landscape which is described with mesmerizing intensity. Little incidents are building up towards an explosion which is only hinted at in the book. People waiting for something to happen in a more and more uncanny slience - that may remind the reader of the fact that the book was written before and during World War II. The decadence longing for action, danger and change, however, seems to me reminiscent of World War I. This is not a book of easy historical analogy. It is a unique work of art which stands completely on its own.