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I Wish Someone Were Waiting For Me Somewhere [Paperback]

Anna Gavalda
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 25 2003
Hailed by Voici as "a distant descendant of Dorothy Parker," prize-winning Anna Gavalda has caused an international sensation with this dazzling collection of short stories selling over 700,000 copies in her native France. With arresting naturalism, a lively variety of perspectives, Gavalda writes simply--and beautifully--of human beings longing to connect. Gavalda has a knack for capturing our inner as well as our outer dialogues with perfect pitch, provoking reflection, pain, and laughter in equal measure. The stories in I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere are as wicked as they are insightful, as stylish as they are sparse, as fiercely unsentimental as they are emotionally wrought.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Unabashed materialism is tempered by dry wit in this collection of 12 jaunty short stories about heartache and love by a young prize-winning French writer. The first-person narrators speak directly to the reader: "So anyway, as I was saying," "I'm not saying that to be a smartass" and even "Hmpphh, whatever." This playfulness often masks hurt: protagonists range from a female veterinarian who is gang-raped by drunken farmers to a pop singer isolated by fame and drugs, to a traveling salesman who plays a role in a terrible traffic accident. The collection's shorter stories are slight; nothing much happens, or problems raised are shrugged off without any attempt at resolution. The book's gems, on the other hand, delight by adding action to the mix. In "Junior," two boys borrow dad's Jaguar, with disastrous results; in "Clic-Clac" two sisters help their brother jump-start a love affair with a delectable colleague. If love is one recurring theme, another is class, particularly the distinction between middle and upper classes in French society. In "This Man and This Woman," a couple's loveless marriage is equated with their predictable taste in clothing and furnishings: "It's all kind of nouveau riche, but fortunately they don't realize it." Deftly translated by Marker, this uneven but entertaining collection displays a deliciously Gallic insouciance.
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Review

"Her books have both wit and a whimsical charm" Sunday Telegraph "Gavalda sees through ordinary appearances to people's hidden longings... A gifted literary stylist" Vogue "A distant descendant of Dorothy Parker" Voici "A collection as tender as it is scathing" Le Monde --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
"I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere" --- this echoes what we all feel in our hearts. For some it may be a feeling they harbor secretly, while for others it's a well advertised fact told to all they know, and for those few who always seem in control of their lives this feeling hides in the shadows of their heart but is always there --- for everyone, everywhere wishes for that special someone.
Anna Gavalda has captured these unusual yet down-to-earth stories with so much charisma. From the aging singer who is tired of life but who finds love unexpectedly, to the man in the "lead story" who faces a dire dilemma, these are all stories with an essence of truth in them. They deal with broken hearts, lost loves, happiness and sadness. And at times, these stories may lead you to think more deeply about your own past, your secrets and fears.
I must admit that at first I found the book daunting to read, as Anna Gavalda writes in a very straightforward manner. For someone like me who enjoys reading crime novels, thrillers and lighthearted fare, the writing was quite different. But I eventually warmed to the book, and was both entertained and touched by its many wonderful stories. Whether they mean anything to you or not, these stories will open your eyes to situations you may never have imagined.
To sit down and read a book based purely on life takes maturity and an understanding beyond all that you know and believe. Perhaps it is time for many of you readers out there --- secrets, fears and all --- to delve deep into your soul and look beyond your circle of life to learn about the reality of those around you.
--- Reviewed by Vin Patel
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5.0 out of 5 stars A witty, unusual collection of short stories. Dec 27 2003
Format:Paperback
I understand that Anna Gavalda is French, and the evidence is her wry, Gallic humor and tendency to understate the obvious in her stories. Ostensibly a collection of love stories, Gavalda's collection really runs the gamut of many emotions.
Some leave you rueful, others make you wish she had stretched them out and made even more of the story. Some shock--"Catgut" is an example of an emotionally charged story of horror and revenge. "Junior" is a sad story of a young man's folly -- and not a misstep with love. My favorites of the collection are "For Years", as a man meets his lost love, and learns she is dying, "Pregnant", a tale of shock and sadness that many of us have had to face, and the lead tale, "Courting Rituals of the Saint-Germain-des-Pres", in which a young woman surfaces her doubts about love at first sight by finding a cellular pretense to leave a man she is attracted to.
Gavalda has an interesting, rich voice, slants her stories from several perspectives, keeps you refreshed and reading. When you are finished, disappointment that there is no more lets you know that you are truly in the presence of a great young writer.
Exciting, bold, makes you want to read more by Gavalda!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The French Version Dec 29 2003
By Katie
Format:Paperback
My whole entire French Lit class was based on this book. Although I read it in French, I was able to learn and understand a lot about Anna Gavalda. All the short stories are 3rd person, except for the final story, which is told by Gavalda, from her life. She is an intriging author and I was lucky enough to have my teacher sit and go through each story to fully understand the meanings of everything. Buy this book if you don't want some sappy love story, or if you like something real. Each of these characters are real, and the portrail of relationships for each of them isn't a fairytale, its life. Another little piece of information which might make someone understand where she was coming from at the time, is that Gavalda was going through a divorce while in the process of writing this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Unusual July 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
These stories are lovely, direct and unsettling all at once. Gavalda's writing style is quite distinctive, providing carefully chosen details and insights in a small amount of space. This gives the reader a snapshot of a particular person, relationship or situation in each story.
Some stories have more action than others, some are humorous and others are tragic, but each is a gem. Although the stories are brief, I suggest reading only one or two at a time (if you can) to really savor them.
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