This is Boris Vian's masterpiece. A beautiful mixture of cynicism, romance, social activity (Paris during the late 40's), bittersweet, and dopey at the same time. There will be a new translation of the book coming out in 2001. TamTam Books will be the publisher.
This is not a review but good news for all of us who have failed to find this wonderful book in English. I could not believe there wasn't a translation, I could not give up, and after several researches I now KNOW: the English version DOES exist! :) Now it is just a matter of time and luck to get it... I found this on a Vian website: "Stanley Chapman is the world's foremost translator of Boris Vian. His version of Froth on the Daydream was issued as a Penguin modern classic and can probably still be found second hand."
This brilliant work of fiction, akin to a fairy-tale, combines science-fiction, surrealism, absurdism, lyricism... One of the highlights of post-war French litterature, it has become somewhat of a cult favourite for teenagers, as it relates the lives of yound adults who refuse to accept the responsabilities of adulthood, preferring to live according to principles eerily similar to those held by hippies, refusing to temper idealism with the demands of reality.
I read this book for the first time back in 1986. And upon completing it, I was at loss for words. At loss for breath. I had changed into another person. To me, this book was a rite of passage. I knew that from this moment on, there was no need for me to read another book - ever. I have to confess that I kept on reading - but still, it remains perhaps the book that had the most profound effect on me and my life. This book killed me. And gave me new life.
Thanks to Ildiko (see her review), I started looking for the book in English. I found it on Amazon.uk.co, isdn: 0704300621. It seemed strange (and still does) that this book is so widely read in Hungarian, Spanish, Slovenian, and in so many other translations, yet impossible to find in English translation. I read it in the original, but have been looking for a translation for friends. Thanks to Ildiko, I looked a little harder and just found it.
i have the Stanley Chapman translation of Froth in the Daydream. It is a gorgeous book, however the girl who recommended the book to me says that it fares unfavorably to the original, more so than usual for a translation because of Vian's unique punning, slangy style. However, for as I can't read French, it's the next best thing. It is available in England, Quartet books...
I was supposed to read this in French last semester, but had a lot of trouble with all of the slang. I found an English translation as "Mood Indigo," which Tam Tam is supposed to redo soon, I hear. Also, check for "Froth on the Daydream" or "Foam on the Daze" as English translations. Ideally, though, we'll learn French and not bother with the translations.
I read this book 15 years ago, it really changed my look to literature, to language to life. I will have the foreword/preface written on my epitaph. it was something like this-forgive my poor translation-"...everything I said is true, because I dreamt about it."