Martereau is narrated by a tubercular young man driven by a compulsion to discover what lies behind faades, especially in relation to the adults around him. He's particularly interested in Martereau, his uncle's devoted friend and business associate. All in all, Martereau seems like a trustworthy, benign, self-sufficient man, but under the narrator's intense scrutiny--and Martereau's suspect behavior concerning a shady real-estate deal--his motives seem much more complex and seedy. In a subtle, skillful way, Nathalie Sarraute explores the difference between those who are wealthy and those who pretend to be so, and the manipulative way in which some people get ahead in the world.
About the Author
Nathalie Sarraute (1900 99) was a French novelist, essayist, dramatist, and critic. Her works have been translated into more than thirty languages.