Lately, having a tonne of free time, I've been reading a fair bit and thought it might be a good idea to do a weekly reading post.
The most recent book I read was La Testament Francaise by Andrei Makine. While it's apparently the winner of two prestigious awards, I felt it was rather flowery.
The story concerns a highly dislikeable and measly Russian boy who has a French grandmother and feels at odds with a growing French identity within him. Most of it is him bad mouthing his poor grandmother and then singing the praises of her Frenchness - in equal parts.
Also rated M for sexual refereneces - after all it is the monologue of a deeply dull teenage boy, although surprisingly imaginative! His erotic fantasies span not only space, but also time; one of the most exciting scenes is when he fixates over the hips of some poor women his grandmother's age.
Truly a visionary! His first sexual exploit is also a labour of love (for himself) and bears no relevance to the already nonexistent plotline.
A sister seems to somewhat exist in the story but is of no apparent importance as she just disappears from the narrative after a while, except to balance out the narrator's sheer impudence.
Basically the story is simply the wet dream of a teenager who doesn't let mere notions of nationality or ideology get in the way of his fantasies.
I supposethe premise is somewhat interesting, what with the dual identities, but the exploration of that theme is not dealt with. But what can you expect when the main character is a daft woozy?