Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Book Review: Le Quatrieme Mur by Sorj Chalandon (Literary Fiction)

Title: Le Quatrieme Mur
Author: Sorj Chalandon
Publisher:
Livre de Poche

Publication Date: 2014 (2013)
Pages:
336
Format:
Paperback
Genre:
Literary Fiction
Source:
Bought Secondhand

 




L'idée de Sam était belle et folle : monter l'Antigone de Jean Anouilh à Beyrouth. Voler deux heures à la guerre, en prélevant dans chaque camp un fils ou une fille pour en faire des acteurs. Puis rassembler ces ennemis sur une scène de fortune, entre cour détruite et jardin saccagé. Samuel était grec. Juif, aussi. Mon frère en quelque sorte. Un jour, il m'a demandé de participer à cette trêve poétique. Il me l'a fait promettre, à moi, petit théâtreux de patronnage. Et je lui ai dit oui. Je suis allé à Beyrouth le 10 février 1982, main tendue à la paix. Avant que la guerre ne m'offre brutalement la sienne...


Le Quatrieme Mur was a gripping story from start to finish, and one with plenty of action and emotion. I'm too young to have much knowledge of this war, but it certainly sounds like it was a harrowing time, and the idea of presenting a piece of theatre in the midst of it, with actors drawn from all sides of the conflict seems mad. I really felt for George as he tried to come to terms with what was happening, and I was always eager to read on to see if things would work out. (You'll have to read the book yourself to find out if they do.) I did come across words I didn't know, but I was always able to work them out from the context and didn't refer to my dictionary once, so it was excellent practice for my French too. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an English translation of this work, so you'll only be able to enjoy it if you can read French (or one of the other languages into which it has been translated).

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