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A Very Long Engagement.

Japrisot, Sebastien

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ISBN 10: 0374283354 / ISBN 13: 9780374283353
Edité par Farrar Strauss Giroux, New York, 1993
Etat : As New Couverture rigide
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First US edition. Hardcover with DJ. Condition as new, DJ fine. No markings of any kind. Price not clipped. Not a reminder. 8vo, 327 pages. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. N° de réf. du libraire 001791

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : A Very Long Engagement.

Éditeur : Farrar Strauss Giroux, New York

Date d'édition : 1993

Reliure : Hardcover

Etat du livre :As New

Etat de la jaquette : Fine

Edition : 1st Edition

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

In January 1917, five wounded French soldiers, hands bound before them, are brought to the front at Picardy by their own troops, forced to climb from the trenches onto the narrow strip of no-man's-land that separates the French and German armies, and left to die in the cross fire. Their brutal punishment has been hushed up for over two years when Mathilde Donnay, a young, wheelchair-bound woman from a small town in the South, begins a relentless quest to find out whether her fiance, officially "killed in the line of duty," might still be alive.
As the fiercely independent and wonderfully imaginative Mathilde combs the country for information about the other four soldiers - a farmer from the Dordogne, a street hustler from Marseilles, a Parisian trade unionist, and a carpenter - an elaborate web of deception and coincidence emerges. Struggling against all reason and counsel, Mathilde carries her search to its end, and in discovering what happened to the five men, she comes also to an understanding of the horrors, and the acts of kindness, brought about by war.
A runaway bestseller in France and the winner of the 1991 Prix Interallie, A Very Long Engagement is an engrossing mystery, a playful study of the different ways one story is told, and a moving and incisive portrait of life in France during and after the First World War.

Review:

January 1917: five French soldiers are marched to their own front lines where they will be tossed out into no man's land with their hands tied behind their backs and left for the Germans to shoot. They were, in civilian life, variously a pimp, a mechanic, a farmer, a carpenter, and a fisherman; now they are condemned because each had sought to leave the war by shooting himself in the hand. Taken to a godforsaken trench nicknamed Bingo Crépuscule, the five are reluctantly sent out into the darkness; days later, five bodies are recovered and the families are notified, merely, that the men died in the line of duty.

August 1919: Mathilde Donnay receives a letter from a dying man. In it, the former soldier tells her that he met her beloved fiancé, the fisherman Manech, shortly before he died. Mathilde goes to meet Sergeant Daniel Esperanza at his hospital and there hears the story of the execution. She also receives a package with a photograph of the men and copies of their last letters. As Mathilde reads and rereads the letters and goes over Esperanza's tale, she begins to suspect that perhaps the story didn't end quite so neatly. And so begins her very long investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of five condemned prisoners--one of whom, at least, might not really be dead.

In Mathilde Donnay, Sebastien Japrisot has created one of the most compelling and delightful heroines in modern fiction. Though confined to a wheelchair since childhood, "Mathilde has other lives, varied and quite beautiful ones." She paints, cares for her pets, enjoys a rich fantasy life, and is relentless in her search for the truth about Manech's death. But she is by no means the only vibrant personality leaping off Japrisot's pages. This author has a remarkable ability to draw even minor characters in three dimensions with economy and wit. Take Mathilde's mother, for instance, caught in mid-card game: "At bridge, manille, bezique, Mama is a dirty rotten swine. Not only is she an ace with the pasteboards, but she throws her opponents off their mettle by insulting or making fun of them." And even the characters we meet only through other people's memories--the condemned men--are so fully realized that you find yourself torn over which one you hope may have survived. As Mathilde comes ever closer to solving the mystery of what happened at Bingo Crépuscule that January morning in 1917, Sebastien Japrisot proves himself a master storyteller and A Very Long Engagement a near perfect novel. --Alix Wilber

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Description de la librairie

Art, Architecture, World an American history, First editions

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