In the Café of Lost Youth
Patrick Modiano & Chris Clarke
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
NYRB Classics Original
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
In the Café of Lost Youth is vintage Patrick Modiano, an absorbing evocation of a particular Paris of the 1950s, shadowy and shady, a secret world of writers, criminals, drinkers, and drifters. The novel, inspired in part by the circle (depicted in the photographs of Ed van der Elsken) of the notorious and charismatic Guy Debord, centers on the enigmatic, waiflike figure of Louki, who catches everyone’s attention even as she eludes possession or comprehension. Through the eyes of four very different narrators, including Louki herself, we contemplate her character and her fate, while Modiano explores the themes of identity, memory, time, and forgetting that are at the heart of his spellbinding and deeply moving art.
Lifeless and boring.
Not a very good book. I’m not sure why I kept reading it other than that I hoped it would get better—it didn’t. The writer gives very little feel for Paris and its cafes. Charactes are superficial and not interesting and we get no understanding of the motivation for their actions. I’ve never read a writer who is less capable of “painting a picture” to give you a feel for the characters and places the story takes place.