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The Wanderer by Henri Alain-Fournier

The Wanderer (original 1913; edition 1946)

by Henri Alain-Fournier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,345482,682 (3.78)1 / 136
Title:The Wanderer
Authors:Henri Alain-Fournier
Info:New Directions (1946), Edition: Re Issue, Hardcover, 306 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier (1913)

  1. 30
    A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr (chrisharpe)
  2. 10
    Strait is the Gate by André Gide (chrisharpe)
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    Demian by Hermann Hesse (chrisharpe)
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    Les fruits du Congo by Alexandre Vialatte (catherine-ldg)
  5. 00
    Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (librorumamans)
    librorumamans: What these books share is a strong atmosphere of wistful regret, youthful admiration, a rural setting of great beauty, and wonderful, evocative writing.
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    Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost (Booksloth)
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    A Quiet Life by Beryl Bainbridge (celtic)
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    Le Bachelier by Jules Vallès (askthedust)

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English (35)  French (6)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  All (48)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
One of my favourites. A classic, so haunting and evocative of French provincial life. ( )
  Momonaco | Nov 23, 2016 |
I read this book in 2013 and fell in love with it.

It has a sense of nostalgia that is almost tangible. It's sort of like what would happen if Nick and Jay Gatsby were young boys, growing up in the French countryside, but it's also a lot more than that.

It's very emotive. The tension is really well-written and rife throughout the book. The reason I love this novel is because it introduces love and chemistry and romanticism without necessarily involving a romantic relationship.

It's a wonderful coming-of-age story, and I don't hear people talk about it very much, so I thought I would review it. It's sad, it's sweet, it's sentimental and left a really lasting impression with me.

I wish he had written more books - some of his work is published posthumously, but this is one of his only novels. Alain-Fournier died a month after he was drafted into the army in 1914. He wasn't identified until 1991.

This book, and some others that I'd love to read, are his legacy, though, and I'm glad this book in particular is considered a classic. ( )
1 vote lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
There is some wonderful imagery in this book but the characters are a bit muddled to me. The edition I read had a great introduction by Adam Gopnik that describes the book as inconsistent and contradictory and I agree... ( )
  ltfitch1 | Jun 5, 2016 |
Lu plusieurs fois, un petit miracle, leger et qui laisse une impression durable.
Concerne le passage de l`adolescence a l`age adulte, avec une certaine poesie, et la nostalgie, du passe. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 1, 2016 |
I had long heard of this French classic, often described as a coming of age novel. It is frequently required reading in French schools. Many people love it, but I did not have that reaction to it.

The plot is brief and simple. The narrator is the son of a rural schoolmaster who befriends a new student, Augustin Meaulnes, also known as "The Great Meaulnes." Meaulnes disappears for a few days, and we learn that during his absence he wandered into a surealistic fairy tale estate where preparations are underway for a grand marriage celebration, all being orchestrated by children. He experiences magical and mystical events, and sees a young woman with whom he instantly falls in love. When the wedding is abruptly cancelled, Meaulnes finds himself back in the "real world," and spends much of the rest of his life seeking the "lost estate" and this perfect woman.

Unfortunately, the plot evolves into a series of improbable coincidences and unbelievable characters and events. For all the magic of the beginning, I found little to like in the remainder of the book. I'm at a loss to explain the appeal of this book, so I'll quote extensively from the forward:

"What readers have recalled, and cherished for a century, is the force and simplicity of the fable--the lost domain of happiness, the abandoned chateau brought to life again by the presence of children, the perfect fairy princess found within it and then pursued at the cost of common sense and grown-up sexuality--and the way in which the fable is made credible by what Fournier called his "nervous, voluptuous" prose surrounding the dream. By placing what is essentially a medieval allegory of love in the terms of the late-nineteenth century realistic novel, Fournier, in his one completed book, created a story whose elements--the great, grand place glimpsed in the snow; the girl glimpsed once at a distance after which life becomes simply an attempt to seek her out again--are part of the way we see and the way we sing now; part of pop culture."

Maybe. But that still didn't make it a good book for me. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Feb 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
...Good bookshops, though, will have one copy. Usually it is just the one, thin and a little bit tired at the edges. Often the sellers won't need to replace it more than once or twice a decade - I bought a copy recently; the shop hadn't sold another in 13 years - but that's not the point: the kind of bookseller who stocks Le Grand Meaulnes doesn't really do so for good business. If you're going to run a bookshop, you had better love books, after all, and if you love books, then Le Grand Meaulnes is the kind of novel you'll want to have around.

If you talk to people about this book, you'll notice something interesting: not only have a lot of them read it, but they're still reading it. How and where they get hold of it is a mystery - possibly they are finding it on the shelves of better-read relatives (which is what I did myself). Some books succeed by word of mouth; Le Grand Meaulnes survives by even less than that, a barely audible system of Chinese whispers.But it remains a book that writers turn to; perhaps as much as any modern novel, it has a style which has echoed through the works of others. Despite the confusion of its titles and its dog-eared thinness and its faults, this is arguably one of the most influential novels of the 20th century.

Henri Alban Fournier was born in La Chapelle d'Anguillon in the Sologne in 1886; he was killed in battle on the Meuse, aged 27, in September 1914. The son of a schoolmaster, Fournier was sketching out both a play and a second novel at the outset of war, but his reputation rests almost exclusively on his only complete work of fiction, which narrowly missed winning the Prix Goncourt...
added by Cloud9 | editThe Guardian, Tobias Hill (Aug 16, 2003)

» Add other authors (198 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alain-Fournierprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blair, FrederikaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davison, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delisle, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, HavelockIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leuwen, DanielForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mélaouah, YasminaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mes, HanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nord, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my sister Isabelle
First words
He appeared at our house on a Sunday in November 189-.

(Davison translation)
Time passed. (Epilogue: Lowell Bair translation)
Le Grand Meaulnes belongs to, and is the finest example of, a category of fiction that has no name, but exists. (Afterword)
Last words
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Augustin Meaulnes, il romantico, avventuroso amico del figlio di un maestro di campagna, si sperde nei sentieri che solcano la Sologne e in un castello fantastico incontra la bionda Yvonne. Realtà e sogno si intrecciano in questo enigmatico romanzo di Fournier (1886-1914).
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441895, Paperback)

An unforgettable French masterpiece in the spirit of The Catcher in the Rye-in a dazzling new translation

When Meaulnes first arrives in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring, and charisma. But when he attends a strange party at a mysterious house with a beautiful girl hidden inside, he is changed forever. Published here in the first new English translation since 1959, this evocative novel has at its center both a Peter Pan in provincial France-a kid who refuses to grow up-and a Parsifal, pursuing his love to the ends of the earth. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain- Fournier's narrator compellingly carries the reader through this indelible portrait of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:45 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Also known, and later filmed, as 'The Wanderer', this novel is the story of adolescent pain and the search for a lost love.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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Average: (3.78)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441895, 0141194820

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