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In het café van de verloren jeugd by…

In het café van de verloren jeugd (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Patrick Modiano

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3762128,713 (3.41)6
Title:In het café van de verloren jeugd
Authors:Patrick Modiano
Info:Amsterdam Querido 2008
Collections:Your library
Tags:Literatuur, Franse lit., jeugd;Frankrijk;1960-, Parijs, boekcultuur

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In the Café of Lost Youth by Patrick Modiano (2007)


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English (8)  Dutch (6)  Catalan (4)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All (21)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
“Patrick Modiano goes beyond the checklist accuracies of historical fiction, fashioning a lush fever dream filled with glamor, mystery, and despair.

Check out my review at the New York Journal of Books:

http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/caf%C3%A9-lost-youth ( )
1 vote kswolff | Aug 4, 2016 |
Yes, it's brilliant and true, but it's full of sadness, too. Ennui on every page.

Louki is the poor daughter of a single mother and she has lost out on the only real opportunity in her life. She drifts through her life in 1950's Paris, meeting people, but never really knowing them, while they never really know her.

It's a story seeped in Paris alienation and loss. Such a good story. Such a sad story. ( )
  debnance | Aug 4, 2016 |
I realize how ridiculous it is for an amateur to disagree with the Nobel Prize committee, but this is the second Modiano novel I try and I just don't get why they selected him. His work reads like Alain Robbe-Grillet with all the difficulties sanded down, or perhaps Paul Auster's New York Trilogy minus the annoying po-mo winks and nudges. Either way, pleasant but far from life-changing. ( )
  giovannigf | Jun 27, 2016 |
Maybe knowing a bit of Paris would have made this story easier to follow, as it has plenty of references to the geography of the city.

The changes of point of view were remarkable and helped to move the story along but it is a thin story, more insinuating than really telling and the overall result didn't impress me very much. ( )
  ivan.frade | Sep 11, 2015 |
It felt a little as if I were in a nightmare reading this book. The way everyone’s paths intersect but no-one really knows or understands anyone else is reinforced by having the number of first person accounts where the reader learns a little about each but more about how they don’t know each other. Even the names aren’t their real names. Louki is perhaps Jacqueline but we only know Roland’s real name is something more exotic and he prefers to be inconnu.

Then there are the activities they have. Roland is writing a book about ‘des zones intermédiaires . . . où l’on était à la lisière de tout, en transit, où meme en suspens’ while Bowing has a book lisiting where all the clients of the café come from as he ‘cherchait à sauver de l’oubli les papillons qui tournent quelques instants autour d’une lampe’, in other words trying to give some solidity to people living in the anonymous suburbs of Paris. All this reinforces, as does the title, the way people have an unfulfilled yearning. As I’ve said, it’s all pretty depressing.

I didn’t really engage with the characters. I think we’re meant to feel at least sympathy for Louki, but the casual way in which she got married and then treated her marriage, took cocaine and wandered around made her seem really egocentric to me so her outcome didn’t engage me. Who doesn’t want ‘respirer à l’air libre’ as she does?

Altogether this is a sombre book, taking the reader on a dusk tour of Paris with people who have become disengaged. ( )
1 vote evening | Jun 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Modiano, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, MathiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elzinga, MaartenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furugärde, MikaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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At the halfway point of the journey making up real life, we were surrounded by a gloomy melancholy, one expressed by so very many derisive and sorrowful words in the café of the lost youth.

-Guy Debord
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There were two entrances to the café, but she always opted for the narrower one hidden in the shadows.
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