"From the bus stop across the street, it was hard to tell, but suddenly I understood, seeing the passengers in the van that picked her up every morning, that she was slightly retarded."
A precocious teenager in a French suburb finds himself powerfully, troublingly drawn to the girl he sees every day on the way to school. As he watches and thinks about her, his daydreamsfull of lyrics from Joy Division and the Smiths, fairy tales, Flowers for Algernon, sexual desire and fear, loneliness, rage for escape, impatience to grow upreveal an entire adolescence. And this fleeting erotic obsession, remembered years later, blossoms into a meditation on what it means to be a smart kid, what it means to be dumb, and what it means to be in love with another person.
03 is a book about young love like none you have ever read. It marks the English-language debut of a unique French writerone of the great stylists of his generation.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Product dimensions:||7.52(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.28(d)|
About the Author
Jean-Christophe Valtat teaches comparative literature at Clermont-Ferrand University. He is the author of two novels and a story collection.
Mitzi Angel is the publisher of Faber and Faber, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
We read 03 in our book group recently. It¿s only 84 Pages long, so you wouldn¿t expect it to be such a slow read. But it¿s also written in only one paragraph, which makes putting it down and picking it up again difficult¿how can you tell where you were. And it¿s written in one slow stream-of-consciousness soporific voice. Some of us finished it. A young man stands at a bus-stop looking at a girl who he thinks he might fall in love with. She¿s handicapped. He has no qualms looking down on her, even as he imagines he¿s looking up. Too smart for his years, like many other French protagonists, lonely, just beginning to grow up¿ the narrator fits many stereotypes and hardly seems to change, though at some point he switches from child to adult remembering¿read carefully or you¿ll miss it. 03 certainly evokes the loneliness of youth, but perhaps doesn¿t age well, or perhaps I¿m just not the intended audience. Disclosure: We¿re wondering in our book group if short books always take longer to read than long ones.