“From the bus stop across the street, it was hard to tell, but suddenly I understood, seeing the passengers in the van that picked her up every morning, that she was slightly retarded.”
A precocious teenager in a French suburb finds himself powerfully, troublingly drawn to the girl he sees every day on the way to school. As he watches and thinks about her, his daydreams—full of lyrics from Joy Division and the Smiths, fairy tales, Flowers for Algernon, sexual desire and fear, loneliness, rage for escape, impatience to grow up—reveal an entire adolescence. And this fleeting erotic obsession, remembered years later, blossoms into a meditation on what it means to be a smart kid, what it means to be dumb, and what it means to be in love with another person.
03 is a book about young love like none you have ever read. It marks the English-language debut of a unique French writer—one of the great stylists of his generation.
About Jean-Christophe ValtatSee more books from this Author
AUTHOR WEBSITE: Wikipedia page on Jean-Christophe Valtat EXTRAS: Reading Guide and Excerpt MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Another different teen years story: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC PiersonJul 15 2010 | Read Full Review of 03: A Novel
Valtat's 03--at under 100 pages, as much a sketch as a fully formed portrait--is one of those books, combining elements of the French nouveau roman and an aimless, philosophically inquisitive "story" that calls to mind the plotting of a Seinfeld episode more than that of a Dickens serial.Jul 26 2010 | Read Full Review of 03: A Novel
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