That Mad Ache: A Novel/Translator, Trader: An Essay Paperback – 12 May 2009
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"a compulsive read for us Francophiles of a romantic disposition. Paris itself has never seemed so gloriously enticing - you'll be booking on to Eurostar for a bargain break before you've reached the last page."
-- The Daily Mail, Friday 10 July 2009
About the Author
As a teen-ager, Françoise Sagan (1935-2004) rocketed to world renown with her prize-winning and best-selling novel Bonjour Tristesse. She went on to write many other successful novels, including A Certain Smile and Aimez-vous Brahms, as well as numerous plays and memoirs.
Douglas Hofstadter is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach. Among his more recent works are Le Ton beau de Marot, a verse translation of Alexander Pushkin’s novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin, and I Am a Strange Loop. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
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Top Customer Reviews
It`s rare enough to read a novel which immediately captivates one, and which by the end makes you realise you`ve just read something that instantly becomes very special to you. La Chamade/That Mad Ache is one such rarity, and it is a novel I shall return to in the future, its bittersweet story and its central heroine Lucile now an integral part of my life, or at least my literary life.
I loved this book. Amazon`s synopsis above gives a good rundown of plot, so I won`t repeat it here. Any `plot` as such is as nothing to Sagan`s deftly penetrating insights into both men and women, and perhaps more particularly, couples in love. She is also one of the best writers about sex I have ever read. She is not all that explicit, but her descriptions of the lovemaking of Lucile and her lover Antoine are wholly credible and unselfconsciously erotic without any trace of prurience or any effort to merely titillate. Indeed, there is a chapter fairly early on in this short novel which, in little more than a page, is possibly the truest description of a sexual encounter between two lovers who are mad about each other that I`ve ever come across in fiction. In a few lines, she expresses the sheer physical and emotional exhilaration of wildly abandoned sex.
The mostly upper-class setting reminded me at times of both Zola`s Nana and Colette`s Gigi, though of course this is set in the early sixties, just before mini-skirts, hippies and the whole transformative 'summer of love'.Read more ›
Douglas Hofstadter has written some of my favourite books, books that I have returned to time and time again. This is not one of them.
Curiously, though the flyleaf tells us that the novel is set in the 1960s, it feels as if it is set in an earlier period, like a novel that Colette might have written.
A very considerable bonus to this edition is a hundred page personal essay by the translator Douglas Hofstadter, who, being an American, translates it into American-English.Read more ›