Desolation by Yasmina Reza & Carol Janeway

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Samuel Perlman, the elderly narrator of Yasmina Reza’s deliriously dyspeptic novel, is surrounded by happy people. His wife Nancy is thrilled to be a member of the human race. His grown son is content crisscrossing the world to “sample exotic fruit with the savages.” But Samuel himself refuses to be happy and his attempt to explain his refusal (half to his son and half to himself) generates an epic, blasphemous, and hilarious rant against the compromises of his life.

Whether he is recounting his pal Lionel’s heroic battle against impotence; lamenting the loss of his great love, the irresistible Marisa Botton; or pondering the possibility of a new love in the person of one Genevieve Abramowitz, the droll, irascible Perlman is one of the great talkers of contemporary fiction. And Desolation is one of the most dazzling performances ever written for one voice.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Yasmina Reza & Carol Janeway

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Yasmina Reza is a playwright and novelist whose plays have all been multi-award-winning critical and popular international successes, translated in more than thirty languages. Her plays include Conversations After a Burial, The Passage of Winter, Art (which was awarded a Tony in 1999), The Unexpected Man, and Life ? 3. She is also the author of a translation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a novel, Hammerklavier, and a film, Lulu Kreutz’s Picnic. She lives in Paris.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 144 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Desolation

Kirkus Reviews

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An avid gardener, Samuel meets Genevieve Abramowitz, an old friend, at a flower show in Paris one day and proceeds to spend the rest of the day with her.

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The Guardian

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Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi 68pp, Chatto & Windus, £9.99 Desolation by Yasmina Reza 144pp, Hamish Hamilton, £10.99 "Brevity is the sister of talent," wrote Anton Chekhov, thinking of his short stories, in 1889.

Dec 14 2002 | Read Full Review of Desolation

Publishers Weekly

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Bienvenue to Samuel's world, where too-cheerful Nancy, his second wife, "doesn't understand that a man who has no place to whine cannot be a normal man," and his disappointing 38-year-old son "crisscrosses the world on the 99 cents he gets from subletting the apartment I rent for him."

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