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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

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Life Is Short and Desire Endless


Life Is Short and Desire Endless Cover




Given that the time difference between London and Paris is one hour, it is at about four thirty on that same May day that Murphy Blomdale opens the door to his apartment, puts down his luggage and, after a couple of minutes, has the chilling feeling that Nora is no longer there.

   Everything around him seems strangely calm and lifeless, the windows out onto the courtyard have been left open and, in the space of three days, silence has crept into the apartment, infiltrating every nook and cranny, yet giving a different resonance from one room to the next. The place has never felt so vast and abandoned to him.

   Time itself seems to be standing still, exactly as if this moment of his life, this slice of afternoon, has seized up altogether and nothing will ever come after it.

   Shaking off this morbid spell, Murphy carries on with his exploration, going from the living room to his study, then his study to their bedroom: the wardrobe is empty, the drawers tipped out as if after a burglary and, instead of frames with their photos in them, all that is left on the pedestal table is a little layer of dust and a set of keys.

   Enough said.

   Anyone else in his position would already have accepted the evidence.

But not him. He can’t seem to believe it. In fact, he peers at himself in the mirror to see whether he looks as if he believes it, but no, he has the eyes of someone who doesn’t.

   There must be some explanation for this sort of denial. Murphy Blomdale is big on voluntarism, he is one hundred percent American, both austere and hyperactive, held up as an example by his bosses; this is a man who is confronted daily by the anarchic tides of the financial world, by the unpredictability of markets, the speed of exchanges, and the volatility of capitals. In short, nothing that might prepare him for being the male lead in a romantic drama one day.

Product Details

Lapeyre, Patarick
Other Press (NY)
Lapeyre, Patrick
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8.26 x 5.5 x 0.98 in 0.82 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Life Is Short and Desire Endless Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Other Press (NY) - English 9781590514849 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "An appealing oddness of language elevates Lapeyre's English-language debut above the standard love triangle story. Louis Bleriot-Ringuet, known as Blériot, is French; Nora Neville is English; Murphy Blomdale is American. Murphy works in finance, and Blériot, married to Sabine, works as a translator but often relies on his parents, friends, and wife for money. Nora, who takes acting classes, is 'a strange, fairly unstable girl... both sassy and oddly taciturn,' in Murphy's view. They live together in London until Nora moves to Paris and begins an affair with Blériot. Murphy misses her terribly, finds little satisfaction at work, and visits a childhood friend of Nora's to gain insight into Nora's character. In Paris, Nora finds work in a hotel and continues her affair with Blériot, but the attendant complications, including Sabine's growing suspicions, bring Nora to miss Murphy, setting in motion events that will change the lives of all involved. With the exception of a postmodern turn late in the narrative, Lapeyre's novel, winner of the 2010 Prix Femina, engaging though it is, won't take readers anywhere they haven't been before. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Winner of the 2010 Prix Femina, this delicious novel revolves around a classic love triangle: two men and one woman. She is English, they are French and American. The Frenchman is married, the American is not. None of this makes any difference. The woman—elusive, unreliable, a classic femme fatale—flits back and forth between her two lovers, driving them both mad.

Lapeyre’s subtle, graceful, yet compulsively readable narrative shows us the folly of men who fall helplessly in love with women they don’t understand. Its theme is universal and its humor is sly. It is the perfect introduction in English to this brilliant writer’s work.

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