The Gangsters

Herve Guibert, Author, Hervc) Guibert, Author, Herv Guibert, Author Serpent's Tail $10.99 (108p) ISBN 978-1-85242-224-0
Guibert's narrator, also named Herve, returns to Paris after a week away to discover that his elderly great-aunts have been extorted and psychologically terrorized by gangsters posing as home repairmen. The police bungle the job as the aunts continue to be robbed and Herve pursues a recalcitrant lover. Thus begins a psychological study astute in its depiction of the murky nature of reality. This play of oppression operates on three levels: the surface of actual events, Herve's imagination and the narrative act itself, as Herve tells of writing the book that is being read. On all three levels the tale accelerates toward disaster. Even Vincent, the mythic object of Herve's homosexual love, becomes an increasingly malicious presence, until the book ends, ambiguously, with Vincent's hands on Herve's back, as the hero stands at the edge of a precipice. ``Are his hands pushing me or are they stroking me?'' Herve asks in the book's closing line. Guibert ( To the Friends Who Did Not Save My Life ) leaves the reader questioning what has been witnessed: Are the ominous events actual or imagined? Does Herve need the thrill of danger to believe he is alive? (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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