Synopses & Reviews
The amusingly odd protagonist and narrator of Jean-Philippe Toussaint's novel is an academic on sabbatical in Berlin to work on his book about Titian. With his research completed, all he has left to do is sit down and write. Unfortunately, he can't decide how to refer to his subject, so instead he starts watching TV continuously, until one day he decides to renounce the most addictive of twentieth-century inventions. As he spends his summer still not writing his book, he is haunted by TV, from the video surveillance screens in a museum to a moment when it seems everyone in Berlin is tuned in to Baywatch. One of Toussaints funniest antiheroes, the protagonist of Television turns daily occurrences into an entertaining reflection on society and the influence of television on our lives.
"[A] highly original commentary on modern society....This inventive tale is recommended." Library Journal
"Ever so slightly redundant and attenuated, but most readers will be charmed nonetheless. Very entertaining indeed." Kirkus Reviews
"Toussaint is an original and significant writer, whose fiction can be as engaging as it is surprising." Times Literary Supplement (U.K.)
"Some small part of you may recoil at the idea of a fictional critique of television by a French author. After all, TV is a very American medium, and we more or less know what the French think of us. But Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Television
is not that kind of book at all....Television
is a delicacy of a book, observed in minute, almost prurient detail, and it casts a sad but loving eye on modern life." Anna Godbersen, Esquire
(read the entire Esquire review
"Wonderful . . . Toussaint is a genuinely funny writer."--Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Jean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of seven novels, including The Bathroom and Monsieur, both of which have been published in English translation. His work has been compared to that of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, Ivan Oblomov, and the films of Jim Jarmusch.