cover image Hoppla! 1 2 3

Hoppla! 1 2 3

Gerard Gavarry, . . Dalkey Archive, $12.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-56478-536-7

Gavarry’s grim novel recounts a rape and murder in a Parisian suburban slum from three slightly different perspectives and in different styles. The stories center on Ti-Jus, a quiet and unpredictable young man, and his friends the Whistler, the Smoker and the “hulk with the comb” as they skulk and fight their way through a glum Paris, as well as Ti-Jus’s family going about their daily lives. Eventually these story lines converge (three times if you count each retelling) in a vicious and brutal climax. There’s a Clockwork Orange feel to the sexualized violence and the colorful slang that comes across as the novel’s centerpiece, though it does present its challenges as a work-in-translation—such slangy French linguistic practices as the shortening of a word or the playful blending of others doesn’t always work in English. It’s a decent if dark effort that’s probably better in French. (June)