Thursday, April 25, 2013
Review: L'amant by Marguerite Duras
So, this book, which is translated as The Lover, is said to be autobiographical. Duras group up in French Indochina, which is in southeast Asia and I believe had parts of Vietnam and Cambodia??
Anyway, the book is pretty short. It's about a young girl. If I remember correctly she was about 15?? And she starts seeing a late 20s or early 30s something year old rich man from China who is there on business. They have a super strong connection. The girl herself comes from a broken family. Her father is dead and her mother has no money. So at first I think she decides to go with the guy as just something different to do.
I really wasn't a fan of this book. I just could not get over the whole age difference thing. It was weird to me. I know I shouldn't have let that get in the way of the rest of the book, but it did. And I usually don't get too bothered by things. But this really bothered me and definitely affected my opinion.
What I did really like was the descriptions of life in French Indochina at the time (which I believe was around 1930-ish?). There were Europeans and people from other wealthier Asian countries who were living pretty nicely, and then there were the actual native people, who were not living nearly as well as the rest of the inhabitants. Those descriptions were interesting.
So, as you've probably surmised by now, I didn't really like the book very much. I think mainly because of the whole age difference thing. It affected my opinion of the whole book, and then I put off reviewing it because I didn't know what to say, so now most of the details are iffy.
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it more than me? I'd love to hear different opinions! This is a "classic" francophone book, but it was one I wasn't too fond of.
Author: Marguerite Duras
Date of Publication: 1984
Number of Pages: 133
Genre: Autobiographical fiction
Source: Personal copy