The Same River Twice

The Same River Twice

by Ted Mooney
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Overview

The Same River Twice by Ted Mooney

When Odile Mével, a French clothing designer, agrees to smuggle ceremonial May Day banners out of the former Soviet Union, she thinks she’s trading a few days’ inconvenience for a quick thirty thousand francs. Yet when she returns home to Paris to deliver the contraband to Turner, the American art expert behind this scheme, her fellow courier (previously a stranger) has disappeared, her apartment is ransacked for no discernible reason, and she has already set in motion a chain of events that will put those closest to her in jeopardy.

Odile’s American husband, Max, has no inkling of her clandestine moonlighting. An independent filmmaker whose recent taste of commercial success has left him at a crossroads in his career, he by chance makes a surreal discovery: unauthorized copies of his first film, with a technically expert, and completely different, ending. Baffled as to who would have either the motive or the means to commit such intellectual piracy, he investigates this fraud and soon runs up against the Russian mafia and, possibly, a human-trafficking operation. At the same time, he is becoming ever more preoccupied by his next artistic project: filming the actual lives of people intimate to him and Odile, a Dutchman and his American girlfriend who are meticulously restoring their century-old houseboat on the Seine—an endeavor that has fervent meaning for both Max and his subjects. And as if this weren’t excitement enough, he begins to suspect that Odile is having an affair.

Marital deceptions deepen and multiply even as the details of Odile’s and Max’s escapades appear ever more connected. The couple must now confront exactly what they are willing to do for the sake of their marriage and, indeed, their lives. Meanwhile, Turner, too, has a great many irons in the fire, which suddenly threatens to burn out of control.

Hugely atmospheric, perceptively written, and grippingly suspenseful, The Same River Twice is a page-turner that also poses questions of existential importance. What is the nature of inevitability? What agency do we have over our destinies? And is a different ending ever possible?


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307593696
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/11/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Ted Mooney is the author of Easy Travel to Other Planets, Traffic and Laughter, and Singing into the Piano. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Granta, and The New American Review, and he has received grants from the Guggenheim and the Ingram Merrill foundations. He lives in New York City.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Same River Twice 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
American filmmaker Max Colby is stunned when he finds a copy of a movie he made with a different ending than he filmed. At the same time his ego takes a shot as he always thought he was the best but the new climax is oddly amateurish yet in some ways superior to his though he would never admit this even to himself; his inquiry as to who changed the ending leads to the Russians. Meanwhile his fashion designer wife Odile is contacted for a chance to make some money and help her in trouble lover art dealer Turner by smuggling from Russia Communist Soviet flags to sell as avant-garde pieces. She and her traveling companion Thierry Colin succeed. However, almost immediately after they are back in the West, Colin vanishes and Odile's Paris apartment is broken into and turned upside down as someone looks for something. The Russians are coming as Max begins filming his latest movie about art creating art while hoping to serendipitously film Odile with her lover. Murder spins the cast in ways none would have suspected before the sale of Communist flag as great art. This is a wonderful yet odd thriller that ties the chic art avant-garde film worlds of New York and Paris with criminal mob activity. Everyone is a wannabe Machiavellian manipulator trying to pull the strings of everyone else who are doing likewise. Although the homicide is over the top of the Pyrenees, fans who appreciate something different will enjoy the character driven tale of how dangerous crossing The Same River Twice is when the Russian Mafia are the toll collectors. Harriet Klausner
Loucypher More than 1 year ago
A director, clothes designer, art dealer, actors and actresses, Russian Mafia, lawyers, anarchists, scientists, and children all combine in this book for a wonderful and interesting story. At first I found it a little hard to get into the story but from the wonderful writing I kept giving it a chance. The characters are very well developed and the storyline is very smooth and easy to follow. I especially enjoyed some of the descriptive narrative about France and the people there. Once I got into the story about 70 pages in It was hard to put down. I would definitely recommend this as a good summer read.
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