Fleeting Sorrow

( 3 )

Overview

Paul Cazavel, a successful and seemingly healthy Parisian architect, learns from his doctor one morning, after a presumably routine checkup, that he has lung cancer. The doctor's prognosis is that he has at best six months to live. At thirty-nine, Paul feels betrayed and cheated, but can't indulge in self-pity on a day he has to spend breaking the tragic news to the people he thought meant everything to him. There's his "best" friend, who, it turns out, is too busy with his own career to sympathize with Paul's ...
See more details below
This Hardcover is Not Available through BN.com
Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books
Sending request ...

Overview

Paul Cazavel, a successful and seemingly healthy Parisian architect, learns from his doctor one morning, after a presumably routine checkup, that he has lung cancer. The doctor's prognosis is that he has at best six months to live. At thirty-nine, Paul feels betrayed and cheated, but can't indulge in self-pity on a day he has to spend breaking the tragic news to the people he thought meant everything to him. There's his "best" friend, who, it turns out, is too busy with his own career to sympathize with Paul's dire disclosure; a mistress so carried away by her own grief that she forgets her lover's existence; a wife whose joy at the news of her husband's impending death shimmers through her cynical show of devotion. What has Paul been doing all his life? And who are all these insufferable people surrounding him? Paul has no time to keep up appearances. Under the gun of an inexorable deadline, he does exactly as he pleases, leaves his boring job, abandons his family, finds and pursues the only woman he really ever loved but had never dared commit to. His death liberates his life - for a while. But nothing goes according to plan in a novel in which the unexpected is the order of the day.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A number-one bestseller in France, Sagan's latest novel asks: How will a person react to the news that, due to sudden illness, he has only six months to live? Such a harsh sentence is placed on Paul Cazavel, a ``prototype of the mediocre Frenchman''-a middle-aged married man, half-hearted architect, with a none-too-bright fashion model for a mistress. After learning he has incurable lung cancer, Paul first wanders through Paris, overwhelmed by a kaleidoscope of emotions-despair, self-pity, horror, denial, shame-that Sagan carefully tempers through her protagonist's caustic, self-deprecating personality: ``So these next six months were going to be not only cruel but boring,'' Paul thinks. He breaks the news to the people in his life and is dismayed by their responses: his best friend, Robert, a successful businessman, is too busy to listen; his mistress, Sonia, appears so self-absorbed that Paul realizes how much he doesn't love her. He is given a warmer reception by his one true love, Mathilde, whom he finds again after many years and who receives him with open arms; but his cold-hearted wife, Helene, is clearly thrilled to get rid of him. Sagan seems keenly aware of ``the melodramatic, ridiculous paradox'' that has imminent death returning Paul to his appreciation of life; at times, Paul gets ``the feeling he was playing a role in some comedy.'' But for all his ironic existential musings, Paul and his situation remain contrived and overblown-a fate the novel's clichd, easy-out ending only seals. (Sept.)
Library Journal
More a novella, this short work by celebrated French author Sagan e.g., Bonjour Tristesse is well written despite its trite premise: Paul Cazabel has just been diagnosed with lung cancer and given only six months to live. The events take place in the span of a day-the day Paul hears the shocking news. The issue is not really death, or Paul's dread of dying, but how many different Pauls actually exist: "How many profiles would there be of him, how many imitation Pauls, how many poor copies?" The story also chronicles the reactions of Paul's women his wife, his mistress, his ex-mistress to the news. Sagan presents this mortality tale with a deft, philosophical touch, lightened occasionally by humor. Paris is evocatively recalled, and despite his faults, Paul remains a somewhat appealing character up to the end. But sometimes the constraints of the plot remind the reader that it is all too made up; what one wants from this novel is more tension, more surprises, less "fleeting sorrow." Recommended for larger collections only. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/95.]-Doris Lynch, Bloomington P.L., Ind.
Janet St. John
Acclaimed as one of France's most popular writers, Sagan's work is expected to be nothing short of brilliant. Although this new novel isn't brilliant, it is tremendously engaging--excellent popular fiction. To call it popular fiction is not to demean the literary qualities of this largely existential particularly Camus-like story of a man essentially handed a death sentence: a diagnosis of lung cancer. What follows is all the activities and mental processes that constitute the day Paul Cazavel receives the grim news. Paul's responses--suicidal thoughts, disbelief, anger, imagining expectations and surprise at people's reactions, hypersensitivity and then emotional distancing--are all genuine manifestations of a troubled soul. The scenes of his boyish confession to mistress and former wife and his sharing of the information with a callous, preoccupied friend are very well wrought. More than a character study, however, the novel makes fresh twists and turns in plot excluding the ending, which is a bit like the old ploy of "well, it was only a dream" . All in all, Sagan deserves a big "Bravo" for a deftly crafted novel that punches all the right buttons.
From Barnes & Noble
France's renowned writer whose book Bonjour Tristesse sent shockwaves through literary circles over 40 years ago, recounts a story about a man whose imminent death liberates him to pursue the only woman he ever loved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737205961
  • Publisher: Arcade
  • Publication date: 9/21/1995
  • Pages: 181

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Pinefoot

    He looked around and saw a rabbit.' Strange.....' He thought, as he saw somthing glint near its neck. Pushing the his doubts away, he sprang forward and killed it, but felt a metal chain around its neck. He took it off and saw a little moon on one end. Burying the rabbit, he put the necklace in a hollowed out tree.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Swallownose

    Thanks. Im going back to camp...see you

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Lightflower

    U to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)