With his trademark comically wry phrasing and a sure eye for quirky detail, Echenoz has produced his oddest and most enjoyable novel to date. Chopin's Move interweaves the fates of Chopin, entomologist and recalcitrant secret agent; Oswald, a young foreign-affairs employee who vanishes en route to his new home; Suzy, who gets enmeshed in a tangle of deceit and counterdeceit; the mysterious Colonel Seck, whose motivations are never quite what they seem; and a typically Echenozian supporting cast of neurotic bodyguards, disquieting functionaries, and crafty double agents. As the plot thickens, the characters become embroiled in layer upon layer of deception and double-dealing, leading them further into a world in which nothing can be taken at face value and in which "reality" hinges on apparently harmless coincidence.
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With the help of Seck and a painter at the spa who incorporates clues into his artwork, Chopin must follow Veber's every move, though, as Seck notes, the spy is "mainly there as window dressing."| Read Full Review of Chopin's Move (French Literat...