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Incidents in the Rue Laugier
     

Incidents in the Rue Laugier

5.0 1
by Anita Brookner
 

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Maud Gonthier yearns for an escape from the cocoon of the bourgeois modesty. The splendid, caddish David Tyler appears to offer one. In this stylish, deeply knowing novel by the author of Hotel du Lac, Maud's seduction creates a chemistry of longing, sensuality, and betrayal—with a surprising climax. 240 pp.

Overview

Maud Gonthier yearns for an escape from the cocoon of the bourgeois modesty. The splendid, caddish David Tyler appears to offer one. In this stylish, deeply knowing novel by the author of Hotel du Lac, Maud's seduction creates a chemistry of longing, sensuality, and betrayal—with a surprising climax. 240 pp.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Six cryptic journal jottings in her French-born mother's hand drive Maffy, initially the narrator of Brookner's (Dolly) potently crafted novel, to fabricate Maud Gonthier Harrison's single ardent girlhood affair. Having reproduced the mysterious inscription in Maud's notebook (``Dames Blanches. La Gaillardier. Place des Ternes. Sang. Edward.'') and a scrap of Proust, Maffy teasingly begs the reader, ``Please accept me as an unreliable narrator,'' then vanishes, to appear only ``inadvertently'' in the tale that follows. Now in a third-person voice, Maud's story takes on a pulsating reality, involving her with charismatic ``scoundrel'' David Tyler and his friend since Cambridge, Edward Harrison-the man Maud finally marries. The triangle, erotic and latently homoerotic, forms during a sensual, heat-drenched season of the 1950s in the French countryside; then the three drift to a borrowed house on Paris's rue Laugier. Lost in love's delirium, Maud sees Tyler as an ``Apollo,'' a careless divinity who descends to sport with her and Edward, while emotionally damaging them forever. With delicate brilliance, Brookner probes Maud's and Edward's early family lives (Tyler, in contrast, appears from nowhere, born of mythically rich parents) to reveal how they become so entrapped. Like other Brookner heroines, Maud has a controlling mother whose tie with her is as intricately knotty as Maud's relationship is with the men. Edward, inflamed by Maud because of Tyler, grasps his own bewildering role as voyeuristic, feminine, childlike, servile and protective. With Tyler's withdrawal, Maud and Edward grow resignedly chill as they refashion their lives and tilt their relationship into a new imbalance, while the reader turns pages compulsively for a dazzling read in which every sentence seems clairvoyant. (Jan.)
Library Journal
After relating the life of a boring, angst-ridden man in A Private View (LJ 2/1/95), Brookner turns the tables with this passion-filled story of a woman whose beau suddenly disappears while in Paris.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679308409
Publisher:
Random House of Canada, Limited
Publication date:
01/21/1997

Meet the Author

Anita Brookner was born in London and, apart from several years in Paris, has lived there ever since. She trained as an art historian and taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art until 1988.

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Incidents in the Rue Laugier 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A writer creates a 'fiction' about her mother; a quiet woman who dies young. Based on the mother's journal (containing a recipe, a line from Proust, little else, and numerous blank pages)as well as faded memory; begins a lightning fast introspective into the mother's (a young woman's) affair with a magnetic, sexy young man during glorious days in Paris. But the story will take a turn, in its own good time, and this same young woman will bear a child and die before her time, living a quiet life in England. How her life is devistated, and how she hides the damage until her early escape into death, is the story. ANITA BROOKNER, the best novelist living today offers no compromise or easy (false) answers. Like her earlier 'ALTERED STATES' this novel will knock you out. Like Arctic turtles, newborn, scrambling for life on the rocky shore where only a few will live; these characters fight for their happiness tho few will make it.