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The Passion of Martin Fissel-Brandt Paperback – Mar 1 2002


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Paperback, Mar 1 2002
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
in the line of Beckett, Duras, Ernaux ... July 5 2007
By M. J. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Gailly writes bare-bones narrative - non-sequential with broken syntax. But do read the book before reading the introduction - the literary school and structural devices are not required to enjoy the book.

The narrator gives the story in third person - moving from the end of vacation to return of hidden letter to workers' strike to Asia road construction to civil unrest to reunion with love. The tone of the narrator varies from neutral observer to intimate knowledge of the inner thoughts of characters. At times the disjointed prose leans towards stream of consciousness; at other times, the punctuation severs relationships between elements of an otherwise normal sentence; still other times the disrupted syntax reveals pure perception without mental overlays of meaning.

Through it all, Gailly manages to create narrative tension in the reader - you want to know what happened/will happen. You want to understand more about the characters. In short, it is a very literary good read of a mystery-romance.

An example of the prose: "A name like this. Or like that. Sounded like this. She made some noises with her mouth while moving her fingers, then: I wonder, she said, what family of instruments, what coupling, or marriage, could make that sound." Or "Brought it to his lips. And. With a stiff movement of his neck. As if caught in a vice. He emptied it. Put it down. Then. A pause."

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