European Book Club
December 10 at 6:30 pm
Toronto Public Reference Library
First opus of this reading club organised with our European collaborators in Toronto. Martha Baillie, Canadian author, will be our host. The reading club will take place in the Reference Library’s “Discussion room”, located on the 3rd floor.
Rather than trying to compete with the war frescoes, Jean Echenoz chose to evoke shoulder-high the conflict of 14-18, telling how war interrupted and changed the daily life of five teenagers leaving somewhere in the Vendée. The beginning of the book is set on a morning of August 1914; those five teenagers, born and raised in the same village, are gathered together in the barracks with all of the reservists from the village. Among them, the reserved Anthime, 23 years old, his older brother the dashing Charles, as well as Padioleau, Bossis and Arcenel. Anthime, “average size citizen with a common face”, is the main protagonist of the book. The book includes fifteen chapters, like fifteen paintings over which the writer developed his range, from blue to gray, this latest being declined in a subtle range –steel, storm, opaque, ashen or obscure.
Echenoz always keeps the perfect and clear line that we know him, this line so bright that stylized and intensifies the silhouettes, the sets, the slightest actions and details.
The book is available at The Toronto Public Library.