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Hate: A Romance

3.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  290 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Paris in the eighties. Four friends. Three men and one woman. Two affairs that destroy a life.
In a controversial first novel that took the French literary world by storm and won the Prix de Flore, Tristan Garcia uses sex, friendships, and love affairs to show what happens to people when political ideals—Marxism, gay rights, sexual liberation, nationalism—come to an end. A
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Faber & Faber (first published August 25th 2008)
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Dec 04, 2010 Denis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recently published in English under the interesting title "Hate: a romance", this novel created quite a stir when it was published in France, and won a major literary prize. Because of the subject matter (the trajectory of the generation of gay men that had to deal with AIDS when it exploded), because of the fact that it is based on real characters, because of the in-your-face style of the writer (who's a very young philosophy teacher), it's obvious from the start that this book aims at being mo ...more
May 17, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paul by: Northshire Bookstore (Charles)
“In the end the connections among several beings last only for a certain culminating moment in life, and the strong feelings that rise up, joining three or four people together, to the point of obsession, come back down again and finally leave nothing in our memories except the form of a bell curve – which one must leave behind, just as it is.”

This philosophical and cerebral novel has, at its core, the relationships among four friends. William (Willie) Miller, Dominique (Doume) Rossi, Jean-Miche
Apr 08, 2013 Rabiut rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Per a mi, la tesi del llibre s'anuncia irònicament al títol: la millor part dels homes rau en el cor, l'herència dels quals no deixa testimoniatge (comparat amb els qui deixen testimonis "visibles", però no tenen bon cor).

A finals dels anys 80, la mort causada per l'estrall de la sida era una qüestió silenciada, denunciada o fins i tot polititzada: un intel·lectual descriu l'amant del seu millor amic com un exemple de la "buidor del pensament contemporani"; ex-parelles que es denuncien mútuament
Matthew Gallaway
I really enjoyed reading this book, not only because it tackles the subject of AIDS and 'safe sex' in a way that is completely believable, but because it captures so much of the political and cultural ambiguity surrounding the disease and the 'gay' world. I thought the strongest part of the book was the middle; to me the end felt a bit predictable and moralistic, but that's a minor quibble in light of my overall enjoyment. The book is also VERY FRENCH to the extent that politics and political la ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: france, translation
Hate, a Romance has been longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, which is probably no surprise to the French because it won the 2008 Prix de Flore. It’s the debut novel of a young philosopher called Tristan Garcia and it explores the decline of the idealism that for my generation defined the 1970s. But it is not for the faint-hearted: there is a great deal of very bad language, and there’s possibly more about gay sex than many people want to know…

To read my review please visit http
Mar 18, 2014 Ptitmog rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ce roman est une plongée au cœur de la société française des années 90, les années SIDA. Le narrateur est une journaliste, Elizabeth, qui raconte la vie de trois hommes, Dominique Rossi, homosexuel, journaliste également et militant de la premier heure de la cause homosexuelle et surtout de la prévention au sein de la communauté ; Jean-Michel Leibowitz, hétérosexuel, philosophe et auteur juif de renom, ayant des liens avec Israël ; et enfin, William Miller, jeune homme paumé, sans réelle compéte ...more
Stephanie Lynn
Apr 05, 2012 Stephanie Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book caught my eye, admittedly I have a thing for gay literature. I thought Willie was a very enthralling character. I loved him, hated him, envied, pitied him, felt disgusted by him, and admired him all at once, often over the scope of just a few pages or chapters. His slow descent into disease-addled mania was painful to watch, but impossible to look away from. His antagonism with Dominique was at times humorous it it's obsessiveness, other times disturbing. The end was a bit deflating an ...more
Jonathan Flores
HOLY COW! Garcia is one bold and intelligent man. You might read reviews telling you that the story drags on and the plot never seems to become clear but I took a very deep message out of this novel. This book was translated from the French and like most French writers, Garcia adds his philosophical and political views through the four characters. I wouldn't categorize it as a "gay" novel even though it focuses on it a lot; it goes deeper into the subject and looks at the political and personal ...more
Colin Hogan
Jul 25, 2010 Colin Hogan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe that Garcia is only a couple years older than I, but that just adds to how much I felt about this book. During college, I did a lot of research on AIDS narratives, but all of them were anglophone accounts. This was one of the first times that I had a French perspective on the subject, and because it was written so much later, it puts all of the stories, many of the important personalities all together, creating a provocative narrative that discusses many of the identity problems ...more
Des chapitres extrêmement inégaux mais de belles choses écrites sur l'appartenance, l'identité, la relation à soi et aux autres. Un écrit qui documente aussi une époque précise : celle des années 80, des croisées politiques entre la droite et la gauche, de la liesse avant la douche froide, la même qui se déversera sur la "communauté" (les contours du terme sont explorés en détail dans le livre) homosexuelle en souffrance victime de la propagation du Sida.
L'auteur précise en préambule que ses pe
Feb 07, 2015 Alvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly unsentimental and disturbing novel of ideas. After a slow, choppy start, I found it unputdownable. The narrator is a woman with few opinions, but the three main characters are men motivated by political ideologies, which naturally get mixed up with their career aspirations and sex lives. Lots of AIDS politics. Lots of sweeping generalizations about the broader political landscape. Only one character, the odiously deranged enfant terrible, Will, truly comes alive on the page, but he' ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Apr 09, 2013 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing
When one talks about the gay community, all they can think of is either sex or stereotyped behaviour patterns. They cannot look beyond it. There is something about the stereotypes and more than anything else, it is the glorification of them through media. Every so-called action and behaviour is recorded and then used by popular media to poke fun at the gay community. There are also times when gay men and women subscribe to these stereotypes and give them the strength, but beyond that it is about ...more
Parrish Lantern
The first four chapters of this book introduce us to the main protagonists, who are Willie, Doumé, Leibo and Liz

The story is told by Liz – Elizabeth Levallois - a thirty three year old cultural journalist, who is a friend of Willie, Doume’s colleague and Leibo’s mistress. It is through her that we learn how these three characters paths cross.

We are first introduced to William Miller (Willie), born in Amiens, at nineteen he moved to Paris where, at the start of the book, he is living on the stree
Aug 26, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, re-read
A (gay) friend of mine said this novel was "too gay" even for him, which is perhaps understandable, given that it's caught up in a very specific niche of late-80s to mid-00s French intellectual gay life. But I think that we (gays, the literary community, the culture at large) are still uncomfortable with fully developed and fully honest gay characters in literature, and this novel does a very good job or forging some new (for me, at least) ground in this area. Garcia's characters felt on the sam ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
This book looks at political ideals - Marxism, sexual liberation, Gay rights and nationalism - and what happens to people when they come to an end. Cultural journalist Elizabeth Levallois looks back on her life in 1980s Paris amidst the ravages of the AIDS epidemic and two relationships that bring her and three men together and then tear then apart. Powerful, sharp, shocking but sympathetic. Definitely worth a read.
Aug 07, 2014 Iris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like with people, there are books that you fall so irrationally in love with that any attempt at judging them objectively is bound to fail. Such is Tristan Garcia's Hate: A Romance for me. Anything and everything you wanted to know about human nature is there, terrifyingly raw. Life translated into a vibrant Genet-ean language.
Tristan Goding
I was VERY disappointed with this one. HATE: A ROMANCE is definitely ballsy, shocking, and full of intense ideas. The end result, however, is extremely messy and all over the place. I love a lot of politically queer themed transgressions of literature. This one felt too disjointed though. I couldn't really get into it.
Aug 11, 2015 Studvet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charts all the nastiness, pungency and destructiveness of relationships gone wrong and the way personalities are twisted by the ego. Overlaid by a historical framework and all the politics and unknowns of early AIDS, with a truly pathetic sense of waste and horror at the ending of one of the main characters: freezes the soul. Read this twice.
May 07, 2012 Yooperprof rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, lgbt, fiction
Not really bitchy or bad enough to be "camp" - unfortunately.

Garcia has written a contemporary "roman a clef" in the manner of Saul Bellow's "Ravelstein." But none of his characters is Allan Bloom, and Garcia is certainly no Saul Bellow. French cultural life - with its celebrity "talking heads" - is shown to be insular, incestuous, and (ultimately) irrelevant. Is the modern French intellectual scene really this dull?

I probably would have liked the novel more - given it two stars, or perhaps eve
May 04, 2011 Sonia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Au-delà de la parodie et du roman à clefs, il n'y a pas grand chose à chercher dans cette histoire, répétitive, triste et à la fin passablement ennuyeuse.

Restrospectivement on est en droit de penser que les articles de presse qui on accompagné la sortie du roman sont de l'ordre de la publicité mensongère. Pas simplement parce qu'ils annonçaient la naissance d'un génie littéraire, là où l'on ne trouve qu'une petite chose sans importance, mais surtout parce que ce roman a été fêté comme le retour
Mar 06, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
Although a toddler when the AIDS crisis began, Tristan Garcia has written an eerily uncanny narrative of the AIDS experience of the 1980's and 90's. Garcia's clever narration moves freely between private and public spheres.
“When you’re defining your own era, you’re not aware of it, you think you’re building a future,” Dominique says. “Then one day you realize that this future you’re building is just something that people will look back on one day as the past, as something past and gone. That’s w
Jesus Torres
Apr 07, 2014 Jesus Torres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesante los personajes y como se enlazan las personas en ella.
Le sujet m'intéressait vraiment mais le style rend l'ensemble assez pénible à lire ...

La narratrice est tellement effacée que je l'ai par moments oubliée, à tel point que les passages où elle évoque ses relations avec les autres personnages m'ont à la fois surprise et profondément ennuyée.

Les trois autres personnages n'évoluent pas réellement après la première moitié du roman, qui est à mon sens la plus intéressante, du point de vue des dialogues, des traits d'humour et du portrait dressé du mi
(This is somewhere between two and a half and three stars.) Le sigh. This is one of those books that I don't quite like but don't quite hate either, so what do I do with it?

The subject material is quite fascinating - Garcia creates an interesting critical commentary on gay rights and the discursive function of AIDS with this and broader politics, including the politics of race (I must admit it started to get a bit shambolic for me at that point). The novel is also an amusing and rather satirical
Nicolas Claude
Mar 02, 2010 Nicolas Claude rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Torchon misérabiliste aux allures d'étude sociale, ce bouquin se veut une peinture au vitriol des années sida au travers de quatre personnages pseudo-fictifs mais encore faudrait-il pour cela avoir un minimum de talent dans l'écriture, ce qui n'est clairement pas le cas de Tristan Garcia. Entre provoc' et caricature, le prof de philo essaye de balancer deux, trois pensées profondes mais brasse du vent nauséeux la plupart du temps.
Nov 01, 2011 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, my-books
Unsure if something was lost in translation, but I found this a challenge to finish. It is an interesting story with a lot of weaving connections but very choppy in the delivery.

The topic can be taboo but the careless and carefree nature of the story is interesting.

It might have gotten a higher grade in the original French language. I fear the translation has let me down.

Grade: C
Jul 14, 2011 Josie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay
This book made me physically ill. There was a moment when the narrator, Liz, seemed like Sasha in Visit from the Goon Squad and I was worried but then it wasn't like that even though the characters are pretty similar. 4 characters seen in fragments from ~1980 until ~2005. The inherent political/philosophical statements made by gay sex and AIDS. France.
This is really good so far. He balances heavy stuff & comedy very deftly.
3.5 stars. Garcia is smart and I enjoyed the politics, concepts, and scope of the book. The characters and their relationships to each other cease developing about midway through. The rest of the book is readable but not enlightening or entertaining.
Aug 13, 2012 Pauline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own
I felt like this book was something that I SHOULD have enjoyed, but somehow I didn't. I'm not sure if there was something essential that was lost in the translation or if I just didn't like it. This did win a lot of awards in France so I'm assuming that I just missed something. Oh well....
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Tristan Garcia is French philosopher and novelist.
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