Set in a bizarre and slightly sinister town where the elderly are auctioned off at an Old Folks Fair, the townspeople assail the priest in hopes of making it rain, and the official town scapegoat bears the shame of the citizens by fishing junk out of the river with his teeth. Heartsnatcher is Boris Vian's most playful and most serious work. The main character is Clementine, a mother who punishes her husband for causing her the excruciating pain of giving birth to three babies. As they age, she becomes increasingly obsessed with protecting them, going so far as to build an invisible wall around their property.
|Publisher:||Dalkey Archive Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.54(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.76(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Vian was an engineer, inventor, jazz trumpeter, actor, recording artist, and prolific writer.
Stanley Chapman was a British architect, designer, writer, and translator, most notably of Vian ("Mood Indigo") and Raymond Queneau. He was the founder of Outrapo and a member of Oulipo, the College de 'Pataphysique (of which Vian was also a member), and the Lewis Carroll Society. He died in 2009.
Raymond Queneau (1903-1976) is acknowledged as one of the most influential of modern French writers, having helped determine the shape of twentieth-century French literature, especially in his role with the Oulipo, a group of authors that includes Italo Calvino, Georges Perec, and Harry Mathews, among others.
John Sturrock is a literary journalist, sometime deputy editor of the "Times Literary Supplement," and consulting editor on the "London Review of Books," He has written widely on French literature, and is an accomplished translator.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Violent, disturbing novel from the 1950s. Very surreal imagery. Interesting as an oddity--not a great novel by any means.
This book blew me away, it was the first by Boris Vian I ever read and I was instantly hooked. There are some weird parts, some insane parts and some great metaphors. It sort ot follows a psyquiatrist visiting a new town and getting involved without wanting too. Some violent bits but if you think of what we actually do to ourselves it`s nothing. For some it will be too wird. I loved it.
bizarre. I think it's better not to try and explain this novel at all...all I'll say is that it seems to be dealing with the concept of guilt, but mostly what one will remember is the Old Folks' Fair (auction of old people for buyers' personal abuse), Glory Hallelujah who takes upon himself all of the shame of the villagers in exchange for gold that he is not permitted to spend, blue slugs that make you fly, and psychoanalysis equalling doggy-style sex. very funny. very weird. Even Vian's life is funny...I laughed reading the "About the Author" in the back of the book..let me share: "In 1959, Vian was involved in a project to adapt the novel [I Spit on Your Graves] into a movie, until a series of artistic differences led to his removal from the project. Tragically, Boris Vian attended the movie's premiere, where he reportedly stood up during the opening scenes and yelled, 'These guys are supposed to be American? My ass!" just before dying of a heart attack."
This book is a romp (more so than a journey) by a psychiatrist into an eccentric village. Vian has a lot of put-downs, sarcastic at times, if you will, or the more popular culture, whether religion, or child rearing, or dealing with merchants. The plot doesn't always hang together well, but it is woth the effort to see how things work out (or don't work out).