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97,196 Words Reviews

97,196 Words by Emmanuel Carrere

97,196 Words: Essays

Emmanuel Carrere

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 7 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781911214465

*The first collection of essays in English from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Adversary*Over the course of his career, Emmanuel Carrere has reinvented non-fiction writing.

3 stars out of 5
20 Nov 2019

"Much to admire in collection of essays and articles but boyish traits grate"

There is a great deal to admire in 97,196 Words, including the Sri Lanka piece, Carrère’s meditations on Jean-Claude Romand and a vivid, affecting essay about the ruined life of a young addict named Julie – all the more impressive for having been written at some remove, via photographs by Darcy Padilla. But a strain of boyish fantasy, mixed with middle-aged bathos, makes it too frequently hard to take Carrère seriously. (In this, he resembles Houellebecq, one of his most prominent admirers.) In a sequence of columns about his love life, written for an Italian magazine, Carrère comes off as an antique battle-of-the-sexes type; as is frequently the case, a hapless, can’t-help-it act is part of the deal. The lowest point: he publishes in Le Monde an erotic letter to a girlfriend, hoping she will read it on a train ride and arrive in a state of Carrère-oriented sexual delirium. What could go wrong?

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
14 Nov 2019

"If you’re interested in Carrère, this book of essays is a good place to start. It’s the best book I’ve read for ages."

A superb collection of essays by Emmanuel Carrère, one of the best storytellers around. He’s French. He has written novels, memoirs, screenplays and murder stories. He’s probably most famous for his book The Adversary, a clinical study of Jean-Claude Romand, a multiple murderer of the utmost strangeness. I’ll come to that in a minute... If you’re interested in Carrère, this book of essays is a good place to start. It’s the best book I’ve read for ages.