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La délicatesse by David Foenkinos
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La délicatesse (original 2009; edition 2011)

by David Foenkinos

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3483131,427 (3.44)5
Member:el3ssar
Title:La délicatesse
Authors:David Foenkinos
Info:Folio (2011), Poche, 209 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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La délicatesse by David Foenkinos (2009)

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» See also 5 mentions

French (10)  English (9)  Spanish (7)  Catalan (3)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
At our local library, there is a shelf for recently returned books. My friend, who works there, tells me it's because patrons of the library want to see what's just been read by other patrons. It's a pretty good idea. This one called out to me as I walked by and I took it home. I read the first 20 pages or so last night, and it was OK. Then this morning, I read this: She was struck by the sight of the bookmark, especially. The book was cut in two by it: the first part, read while Francois was alive. And at page 321, he was dead. What should she do? Can you keep reading a book interrupted by the death of your husband? I was hooked. On a certain level, this is a light novel, a quick, romantic read. On the other hand, it also is unique, quirky and addresses the issues of love, grief and loving again in a delicate and gently humorous way. The chapter headings are priceless. If you take a look at the LT reviews page, you will note that it is a book that people either really like, or really, really don't like. I always find that interesting. No middle ground - no ambiguity about the response.

Quotes:

He was a fellow employee from Uppsala, a Swedish city that doesn't interest many people. Even the inhabitants of Uppsala* themselves are embarrassed; the name of their city sounds almost like an excuse.
*Of course, it's possible to be born in Uppsala and become Ingmar Bergman. That said, his films should give some idea of the tenor of that city.

Markus, who'd made a mess of so many things in his life, had just discovered his ability to appear in the field of vision of a woman at the perfect moment.

Maybe the best idea was to cancel. There was still time. Unforeseeable circumstances. Yes, sorry, Natalie. You know, I'd really love to have gone, but, well, Mom died today. Nope, that was no good, too brutal. Too Camus, as well; and Camus was no good for canceling. Sartre: a lot better. I can't tonight, you see, because hell is other people. A hint of existentialism in the tone - that would go over nicely.
( )
  nittnut | Feb 13, 2015 |
I think this book thinks it's charming, but it just left me feeling gross. The main character is this woman who is barely even a person, just a beautiful face with vaguely strange habits. Of course, everyone loves her for no special reason. It just seemed like the author really wanted to fuck Audrey Tautou and decided to write a book about what he would like her personality to be, but he didn't even care that much and just put in a bunch of random crap to make it sort of like Amelie.
Also, don't put in the book who you think should be in the movie. It's tacky. You know who else does that? Dan Brown. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Ugh- just bad. ( )
  wwrawson | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is light, fluffy French romantic nonsense. As such, it would not be expected to appear on *my* reading list. In fact I have no idea how it got onto my wish list, as none of my LibraryThing friends list it. Anyway, I read it, and although I wouldn't say my life has been profoundly affected by the experience, I did finish it and quite enjoyed the experience. I liked Foenkinos's quirky style with wacky footnotes, very brief chapters, and slightly irrelevant asides. I haven't seen the movie (nor would I), but the book actually almost seems to have been written with a movie in mind.
It begins with a remarkable similarity to Ann Hood's "Ruby" (ultra-romantic marriage is cut short by the death of the husband when he is hit by a car while jogging).and then focuses on the life of the beautiful young widow and the men she attracts. Having recently read a remarkably thoughtful, introspective, contemplative and sometimes depressing book on relationships (Elizabeth Hay's "Small Change"), perhaps I needed something like "Delicacy" to refresh my reading palate. ( )
  oldblack | Jan 12, 2013 |
I recently discovered Amazon's list of 100 Best Books 2012 and ordered six of the novels cited. Delicacy is a very nice romance. It takes place in Paris. It's very French, so some of the behaviors are rather odd, but I liked it anyway. It's short, but it has some 115 chapters, several of which are ultra brief, clever and amusing, e.g., Chapter 38 "Code for the Door to Markus's Building

A9624"

There are a number of very nice romantic moments, a number of funny ones, a few tragic ones. Altogether a nice story. It has won a number of French awards and sold a ton of books there. ( )
  maneekuhi | Nov 26, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Foenkinosprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benderson, BruceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I don't know how to make peace with things, were each moment to tear itself away from time to give me a kiss. - Cioran
Dedication
First words
Natalie was rather private (a kind of Swiss femininity).
Quotations
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Book description
Haiku summary
Natalie grieves; at
work kisses awkward Markus
Natalie wakes up.                          [yalliejane]

No descriptions found.

The story of Nathalie, of her meeting with the one who'll become her husband, until the day he dies, then her fall, and finally her rebirth thanks to a great human discovery.

(summary from another edition)

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