2 July 2015

Patrick Besson: Assessible à certaine melancolie (2000)

I needed something lighter after reading Ascendant Sagittaire, and Accessible à certaine melancolie certainly met that description. What can I say? It's very readable, you can get through it in a few hours, but you don't really feel satisfied after you've finished it. At under sixty, Besson has published well over seventy books, sometimes several in one year. That's an awful lot of writing.
The truth is, this book doesn't say much. At all. It's about egotistical war correspondent Milan who's forty-five, getting tired of his second wife and having many affairs. The trouble is that he can't find the right woman to save him: he needs a very rare and divine creature.
Towards the end of the book Milan goes to Vorchelia – a pseudonym for Serbia – and he gets together with Anna, one of his Vorchelian lovers, when Anna 2 (a surgeon he's having an affair with and whom he met through his eighteen-year-old lover Rose having a nose job) bangs on  his hotel door: she's left her handicapped husband for him. Exit Anna 1, although she later shoots him in the chest but Anna 2's surgery saves him: she decides to stay on and help in the war while the love-war-wounded Milan goes back to France.
So, will he go back to his cancer-stricken wife Brigitte, go back to Rose or find someone else? Does any reader care? Well, he discovers that Anna 2 is returning to France minus a hand, but on knocking at her door finds her aggressive wheelchair-bound husband there and they fight. Milan pushes the man down the stairs, kills him, and has time to kiss Anna 2's stump and make love to her before the police come.
Nine years later when Milan leaves prison Anna 2 is waiting for him to come and live with him. A fitting end to the story: maybe he's found his goddess. La Belle-Soeur was better than this, but I probably won't be reading any more of Patrick Besson's novels in the near future: I wondered what the point of this one was, but I don't think there is a point.

My other Patrick Besson post:

Patrick Besson: Belle-soeur

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