Translated by Mark Polizzotti
Winner of the European Literature Prize
With his trademark comically wry phrasing and a sure eye for quirky detail, Echenoz has produced his oddest and most enjoyable novel to date. Chopin's Move interweaves the fates of Chopin, entomologist and recalcitrant secret agent; Oswald, a young foreign-affairs employee who vanishes en route to his new home; Suzy, who gets enmeshed in a tangle of deceit and counterdeceit; the mysterious Colonel Seck, whose motivations are never quite what they seem; and a typically Echenozian supporting cast of neurotic bodyguards, disquieting functionaries, and crafty double agents.
As the plot thickens, the characters become embroiled in layer upon layer of deception and double-dealing, leading them further into a world in which nothing can be taken at face value and in which reality hinges on apparently harmless coincidence.
Nb of pages 135 p.
Publication Date 01 April 2004
Nb of pages 135
Dimensions 5.5 x 8 in.
List Price $12.95
The telephone might well have rung twice, but Vito knew he wouldn’t answer. He put on his leg before pulling on his pants, as he did every morning when getting out of bed—in any case, no good news would ever be delivered by phone, and besides his leg came first.
The prosthesis was hardly new, and Vito Piranese had gotten used to it long ago: out of habit the straps slid automatically into the metal buckles, which had embossed black lines at the correct holes, perpendicular to the leather; under the shrieks of the telephone, these holes were impaled on their prongs. Vito guided them into the loops, counting what was now four rings. After five or six, he figured, most people hung up.
It is Echenoz's voice, the most distinctive French voice of his generation, that holds us under its spell with its legerdemain of witty turns of phrase, inspired metaphors, fresh pop culture allusions, and the wackiest cast of characters this side of a David Lynch movie. . . . Echenoz is the master magician of contemporary French novel.
Against a pungently evoked French landscape, figure both comical and grotesque move through a magic-latern adventure story at a pace that keeps us turning the pages—though again and again we pause to savor the richness of Echenoz's startling, crystalline observatons. Never a dull moment! -Lydia Davis
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Genres : Fiction : Europe : Western Europe
Countries : France