Hoppla! 1 2 3
Translated by Jane Kuntz
The tale is simple, if grim: a disenfranchised teenage boy from the housing projects on the outskirts of Paris rapes and murders the manager of the supermarket where his mother works. But Gérard Gavarry is a writer who knows how literary inventiveness can shed new light on a serious subject, and Hoppla! tells its story three times, in three separate sections, each in a different tone or mode and with different sets of images and vocabularies. The first relies on tropical images and the characters speak in a lexicon borrowed from the coconut industry—as if the Parisian suburbs had been transported to an exotic shore; the second is nautical in nature; the third invokes the mythology of the centaur, and ancient Greece butts up against modern-day France. Gavarry's bloody and poetic narrative takes dead aim at the social, political, and personal roots of violence, and argues for the transformative power of fiction.
Nb of pages 140 p.
Publication Date 01 June 2009
Nb of pages 140
List Price $12.95
Radio messages were streaming into Traffic Watch Central, growing more alarmist as rush hour loomed, gradually drowning out the electronic buzz that sent a continuous shiver through the control room. To file their reports, far-flung correspondents would repeat the name of their town or locality as if they themselves were Rocquencourt, or Joinville-le-Pont, Paris-Campagne, or Pompadour. Voices also beamed in from helicopters, signing on with such aerial code names as Dragonfly, Echinargus Nab, or Mouchka 2000, while others, earthbound, sputtered twice in crackly rapid-fire “Car T100 to C2R” or “P 050 here, P 050, do you read me? Over.”
Once in a great while a novel comes along that pleases and astonishes not only by virtue of the story it tells, but also by virtue of its form, and the new possibilities that it suggests for the genre itself. Gérard Gavarry's Hoppla! 1 2 3 is just such a book, one of the richest and most innovative novels to appear in France in recent years. -Warren Motte
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Genres : Fiction : Europe : Western Europe
Countries : France