I Wish Someone Were Waiting For Me Somewhere Paperback – Nov 25 2003
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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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"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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I picked this one up because I had heard some good things and love Dorothy Parker. As a whole, I loved the collection. Read morePublished on March 25 2004
I wish the book lived up to the great title, don't know what I was seduced by when I bought this one, but it is a general waste of time. Read morePublished on March 8 2004