Review of small press and independent books.
You are not logged in.
La gloire de mon père by Marcel Pagnol
Editions de Fallois (1988)
This is the first 'proper' book I've read in its entirety in French and actually understood what was going on, so if your level of French is only a little beyond O level / GCSE, as mine is, it's still worth giving it a go. The book is utterly charming. It's an episodic tale from film director Marcel Pagnol's childhood which comprises some back story at first to introduce the characters, followed by an extraordinarily vivid adventure in deepest rural Southern France. I've never been a small boy in France (obviously) but whilst reading this story, especially in the second half of the book, I was.
Chugging along in the background is the amusing contrast between Marcel's saintly atheist father, Joseph, and his decidedly unsaintly theist uncle, Jules, who rolls his rrrrrs to hilarious effect. The women in the story are very much in the background, which annoyed me a little at first, until I started seeing it through Marcel's eyes. His mother is always there. She's part of the furniture, if you like. She is so much the rock on which his existence depends, there's no need to say anything much about her.
The star of the book is the scenery, as much as anything. The descriptions are vivid and mouthwatering. If you intend to read the book, don't look it up on Wikipedia, because the article there is full of spoilers. Better not to know what happens, as you'll cheer all the more when it does.
A lovely book, and not at all the sort of thing I would normally read, but I have no hesitation in recommending it.