Report on Myself

Gregoire Bouillier, Author, Bruce Benderson, Translator , trans. from the French by Bruce Benderson. Mariner $13.95 (161p) ISBN 978-0-618-96861-9

Reminiscing about his loves and losses, writer Bouillier (The Mystery Guest ) probes the murky shallows of his life in search of himself. Born in Algiers, he soon moves with his family to Aubervilliers, in France, where he almost dies from a staph infection that robs him of his sense of smell. Moving back and forth in time, Bouillier recalls his great loves, including his early crush on the sister of a friend. He experiences his first sexual stirrings when he glimpses his friend's mother rinsing herself at the bidet. The desire for sex then so consumes him that he engages in a pathetic episode with a prostitute and French kisses his mother (who responds eagerly) as his hand cups her buttocks. Along the way, Bouillier recounts his love of Frank Zappa, his feelings of alienation from the world, his parents' bohemian lifestyle and his use of the Odyssey as a code for understanding life. While his first book was a lyrical self-exploration, Bouillier here comes across as little more than self-indulgent. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Discover what to read next