I'm Gone: A Novel by Jean Echenoz | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
I'm Gone: A Novel

I'm Gone: A Novel

by Jean Echenoz
     
 

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Winner of France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt and a runaway bestseller, Jean Echenoz’s I’m Gone is the ideal introduction to the sly wit, unique voice, and colorful imagination of “the master magician of the contemporary French novel” (The Washington Post). Nothing less than a heist caper, an Arctic adventure story, a

Overview


Winner of France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt and a runaway bestseller, Jean Echenoz’s I’m Gone is the ideal introduction to the sly wit, unique voice, and colorful imagination of “the master magician of the contemporary French novel” (The Washington Post). Nothing less than a heist caper, an Arctic adventure story, a biting satire of the art world, and a meditation on love and lust and middle age all rolled into one fast-paced, unpredictable, and deliriously entertaining novel, I’m Gone tells the story of an urbane art and antiques dealer who abandons his wife and career to pursue a memorably pathetic international crime spree.

“Crisp and erudite” (The Wall Street Journal), “seductive and delicately ironic” (The Economist), and with an unexpected sting in its tail, I’m Gone—translated by Mark Polizzotti—is a dazzling, postmodern subversion of narrative conventions and an amused look at the absurdities of modern life. With a wink and a nod and a keen eye for the droll detail, Echenoz invites the reader “to enjoy I’m Gone in the same devil-may-care spirit in which it is offered” (The Boston Sunday Globe).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A mystery that doubles as a sly work of serious literature. . . . This novel is a quick read and a true jewel."
Kirkus Reviews

"I'm Gone combines the policier, the cultural essay and the urban sex novel to create a vivid, entertaining, hybrid."
The New York Times Book Review

"Combining the offhand wit of Raymond Chandler with the narrative agility of Peter Høeg, Echenoz crafts a clever, philosophical tale."
Publishers Weekly

"With a wink and a nod and an easy manner of style, Echenoz all but tells us outright not to take any of this too seriously—to enjoy I'm Gone in the same devil-may-care spirit in which it is offered."
The Boston Sunday Globe

"A mordantly humorous work."
Bookforum

"Echenoz both employs and subverts the convention of the adventure and detective genres in this sly send-up of contemporary art life."
Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-16
A mystery that doubles as a sly work of serious literature. Felix Ferrer is a middle-aged art dealer who likes to follow routines until the day he leaves his wife with the words, "You can keep everything, but I'm gone." It's January in Paris; Echenoz has set in motion a story that jumps back and forth in time and among Felix and several people close to him who will disappear in the course of revealing a mystery. Felix will travel above the Arctic Circle on an icebreaker and bring home a treasure trove of ancient artifacts to try to revitalize his business. When his hoard of carved mammoth tusks, musk-ox horn and caribou bone is stolen by a finely dressed, cold and calculating character named Baumgartner, Felix's life begins a slide into financial fear and bypass surgery. Along the way, he will fall in and out of several trysts with women who may or may not be connected to the heist. Womanizing, like his heart problem, haunts his middle age. Echenoz writes beautiful descriptions and chooses satirical details that poke fun at institutions and poses in our daily lives, including literary convention. This is not your mother's crime novel. All is set before us by a narrator who intrudes with personal comments and amusing asides: "[D]aily life is too boring," or "I who am here to tell you that Hélène is highly desirable." What transpires in the end is a circle of mystery, a romantic romp and, ultimately, a perfect ending for Felix—almost. The next January restarts the cycle as Felix says, "Just one drink and then I'm going." Again. French writer Echenoz brings a revised edition of his 1999 novel to American readers with an introduction by Lily Tuck. The translation by Polizzotti is elegant, emphasizing the book's wry humor with economical emphasis. This novel is a quick read and a true jewel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595589996
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
05/06/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


Jean Echenoz is the author of three other novels in English translation and is the winner of numerous literary prizes, among them the Prix Médicis and the European Literature Jeopardy Prize. He lives in Paris.

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