16 December 2016

Michel Host: Valet de nuit (1986)

Following L'Ombre, le fleuve, lété (1983), Michel Host's second novel Valet de nuit (1986) won the Goncourt in the year of publication. Unusually for such a prestigious prize though, it only sold 70,000 copies and in spite of about twenty later publications today the name of the author means little or nothing to most French people.

This is mainly the quest for the narrator Philippe Archer's father, although at the same time it is inevitably a quest for himself. He thought his father a war hero who had died, but reality bites and he's been a long way from the truth. Philippe's being cushioned from everything (especially from material discomfort) throughout his life doesn't really help him.

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