- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Celebrated French author Echenoz (Ravel; Lightning) turns his attention to World War I in this short novel about two brothers who go to war and the woman they leave behind. Young Anthime has previously only existed in the shadow of his charismatic older brother Charles, but the losses he sustains in the war permanently change how he views both himself and the life he's led. Meanwhile, Blanche, the woman both brothers love, waits to discover whether either will be coming home to her. VERDICT Echenoz memorably captures the grotesque facts of life in the trenches in economical prose that combines vivid sensory images with moments of biting dark humor. The book's primary power lies not in its plot or its characters but in the skill with which the author transports the reader to the front lines in scenes mixing a wry, conversational narrative style with meticulously described details: the precise weight of a knapsack, the deafening sound of shells overhead, the inescapable stench of rotting corpses. A short but immersive read.