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Zazie In The Metro

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  3,591 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Impish, foul-mouthed Zazie arrives in Paris from the country to stay with Gabriel, her female-impersonator uncle. All she really wants to do is ride the metro, but finding it shut because of a strike, Zazie looks for other means of amusement and is soon caught up in a comic adventure that becomes wilder and more manic by the minute. In 1960 Queneau's cult classic was made ...more
Published February 3rd 2000 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1959)
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Glenn Russell

A Raymond Queneau funny-bone tickler, a witty zazissle through Paris with Uncle Gabriel hosting visiting Zazie, the ever oh so very loveable little wisecracker who oh so very much wishes to ride the city’s Metro. And I was ever on the qt for how many of RQ’s 99 exercises in style turn up displaying their linguistic proboscis in this whimsical 150 page chocolate croissant. Oodles and oodles as per this snatch of dialogue in the opening pages:

Not displeased with his turn of phrase, the little cha
I’m going to hazard a crazy guess here as to what this book is really about - besides the immediately regognizable themes which others have analyzed and canonized, themes such as the bizzareries of Zazie’s visit to the metropolis and the dazzling use of slang in the narrative.

But before I hazard my crazy guess, you’ll have to be patient with me while I do a little hypothesizing, while I attempt to puzzle it all out. Because I really am trying to get to the bottom of Queneau’s intention here. I’m

Vi basta come recensione?, avete ragione. Non è sufficiente. Mo' m'impegno.

Per scrivere un romanzo del genere, le cose sono due: o sei fuori come un balcone, o sei un geniaccio. Molto probabilmente Queneau era entrambe le cose.
Lui invece si definisce un romanziere idiota. Insomma, chi più ne ha, più ne metta.
Citando Wikipedia (roba da intellettuali):

"Secondo la definizione di Roland Barthes, Queneau è uno degli scrittori che lottano con la letteratura. In effetti in Zazie nel
Dec 26, 2010 C. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: French speakers of all levels; the grammar is simple and you can guess the slang
Recommended to C. by: Manny et Michelle
I finally got around to finishing this, and it was a whole lot of fun.

1. For its linguistic ingenuity
a) With respect to its highly accurate (I assume) transcription of Parisian slang
- That brought back memories and a serious case of itchy feet
b) With respect to the wonderful wordplay in which he engaged
- I'm sure I missed most of this because my French isn't good enough

2. For its characters; they are, as it were, pretty great.
a) With respect to the main players, who were all beautifully portr
Look, it's quite simple really - if you don't love this book then there is something fundamentally wrong with you. My suggestion would either be medical help or, should you wish to save yourself and the world some time and effort, throwing yourself under the nearest Metro.
Q. Besides a lifespan that encompassed the first years of the 20th century through the late 1970’s, first-hand knowledge of the consequences of both world wars, a lifelong devotion to both wife and literature, a large body of work that spanned many genres, with a love of wordplay, humor, high diction, multilinguistic prose, a great attention to structure and experiments in form, and late recognition as one of the most important and influential writers in their respective language(s), what did Ra ...more
MJ Nicholls
This short whimsical novel from the Parisian polymath (and co-founder of the Oulipo) isn’t representative of his phenomenal talent, but is a tittersome romp through a cinematic Paris of the 1950s with the acid-tongued Zazie the charming misfit at its core.

The humour was, for its time, subversive, with its foul-mouthed heroine, the consistent references to ‘homossesuality’ and the playfully childish words spelled phonetically throughout the text. There is no plot as such, minus Zazie’s persistent
This book is so funny!!! A perfect antidote to the Hamsun I read immediately before. Though I must say that it seriously tested the limits of my colloquial French... I thought I wasn't too bad at French slang, but this book put me firmly in my place. My edition appeared to be intended for French high school students, and there were many useful footnotes explaining the less obvious pieces of argot, obscure references, and neologisms (Queneau loves making up words). He also has an endearing way of ...more
Ooooh this book is so good. It's fun, funny, and clever; and it's a super-quick read that's worth every second spent. Apparently in France this book is to Raymond Queneau as Lolita is to Nabokov, i.e. a seemingly simple, widely accessible, and wildly popular novel by an otherwise very intellectual, somewhat unapproachable genius. For whatever that's worth. In any case, this book is phenomenally good. A perfect Sunday-afternoon read.
Lynne King
I've just upgraded my rating here.

I read this when I was at university and it was great fun but I'm not too sure that I would like to read Mr Queneau's other books. Zany Zazie!
La saggezza del pappagallo

“Chiacchieri, chiacchieri, non sai fare altro” dice il pappagallo Laverdure.
In effetti nel libro chiacchierano tutti, di continuo senza smettere un attimo. Le parole corrono, si rincorrono, giocose come uno sciame di bambini ai giardinetti, urlano, ridono, si acchiappano, scappano, si nascondono, si afferrano, rotolano, sull’onda della fantasia infantile che non conosce logica adulta.
I personaggi stessi nascono e sono forgiati dalle parole, che li costruiscono come i
A fizzy, surreal-adjacent rendition of what might in the parlance of the sixties been called a 'romp through the low-lights' of postwar Paris.

Tweenish, precocious pre-ingénue Zazie, and everyone in her trail/path engage in exactly the wrong sort of thing to be doing for 1959 France.

In 2014 this would be best on a beach with a cool Fernet Branca, an afternoon's read that doesn't last longer than the fizz. Some of the outrageousness-- lots of drinking, some cage-aux-folles crossdress cabaret, in
Nora Dillonovich
I love this book. I would give it six stars if I wasn't held to the five star rating system. Maybe even seven. The comical twists and turns, Zazie's adventures, her uncle Gabriel... so entertaining, so vivid. While I read, Herge like graphics continually popped up in my mind; which makes sense considering this was made into a running comic as well as a film. Zazie is something... and while the reader assumes she's an early teen, and prone to the surly brattiness that comes with the age, I think ...more
Sep 23, 2008 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michelle by: Boo
Shelves: novels
Zazie, you are an adorable shit! I can't decide who I liked best...Zazie, Gabriel, Trouscaillon, or maybe the (gesture)parrot.

I want to say more about this slap-sticky novel, but after spending over seven hours on an airplane with a (gesture) seat that didn't recline, I think I need to step away from the computer for a little while.
Zazie Lalochère is my hero, or perhaps antihero. Both? She's a preteen-teen (her age is never stated) from the French country who gets dropped off with her uncle, Gabriel, in Paris for two days so her mother can spend time with her new boyfriend. Immediately, it's obvious that Zazie is a character. When she finds out that the metro she so desperately wants to ride is closed due to a strike, she cries, "Oo the bastards!" But the moment she wins my heart comes a few pages later when she declares s ...more
Ponovno čitanje posle sto godina; i dalje se smejem naglas. Divna knjiga i divan prevod. Ne upropašćavaju je čak ni očajne korice i bedan povez (ovo je možda i najružnija, najjadnije koričena jugoslovenska edicija, ali izbor knjiga im je bio sjajan) ni sramežljivo pominjanje "vukovskih izraza kojima knjiga obiluje" u blurbu.

(stvarno, zašto Goodreads nema neku opciju za ponovljena čitanja?)
"Chiacchieri chiacchieri, non sai fare altro!", ripete il pappagallo circa una volta ogni due pagine.
Basta questo a rendere il non-senso di un romanzo che, secondo il suo stesso autore (e meno male che lo ammette) è "un delirio scritto a macchina da un romanziere idiota". Appunto.
Piuttosto che leggerlo avrei potuto occupare il temo pulendo gli interstizi tra le mattonelle.
It's hard to remember a time before I could go to Google and look up anything I wanted to know. In early 2007 I was planning a trip to Paris and though I'm sure I was using search engines by then, my searching skills were not up to creating a reading list of contemporary novels set in Paris. I had recently begun reading a blog called The Millions, one of the few literary blogs I still check daily. They have a feature called "Ask A Book Question," so I did!

The first recommendation I got in the an
Jul 27, 2008 Elmistico rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elmistico by: Lola Black
Shelves: romans-français
Zazie dans le métro est le livre qui fît connaître Queneau du grand public. Sous les conseils d'une amie, je me suis intéressé à cet ouvrage.

Disons le tout de suite, Zazie dans le métro est un excellent livre.

Queneau dans son livre rend Paris loufoque, les gens, les monuments, la ville est loufoque. Elle est vu de différentes façons par les différents protagonistes.
Pour Zazie c'est une aire de jeux, magnifique, envoutante dont le summum serait le métro. Pour son oncle, c'est l'endroit ou il habi
Chuyến phiêu lưu của Zazie bắt đầu ở ga Austerlitz, khi mẹ đưa em lên Paris gửi ở nhà cậu Garbiel để bà du hí cùng tình nhân. Kinh đô ánh sáng qua lăng kính của cô bé mười ba tuổi rất lạ lùng: Hoigimahoithe, thiên đường không phải là những cung điện tráng lệ, tháp Eiffel hay tòa Panthéon mà là tàu điện ngầm. Khi hệ thống tàu điện ngầm ngưng hoạt động do đình công, Zazie quyết định tự khám phá Paris theo cách riêng mình.

Suýt trở thành nạn nhân tình dục của cha ruột và bố dượng, đã ra tòa làm chứn
Talk, talk, that's all you can do!

Seems like a fitting description of this novel which is just an excuse for slapstick language comedy. Some of the witty language was amusing and clever, but overall I don't see the point of this romp. It got sillier and sillier, but not in a way that was funnier and funnier. The thing kinda read like a writing exercise, actually. And the characters are like flashy cartoons. I never thought slapstick was possible in book form, but here it is. I've never enjoyed s
Jul 02, 2008 Andy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bitchy French chicks
Shelves: kool-imports
You gotta love a book about a bitchy, foul-mouthed 11-year old girl, especially one from the French countryside who comes to Paris to visit the subway, only the subways are on strike, so she opens up a can of whoopez-vous ass to every Parisian her little bumply acid tongue can spit out. "Zazie" isn't a great book but I think it's great someone wrote a book about a vile little girl. I'd rather bow to her than Miley Cyrus any day.
One of the great creations from the pen of Raymond Queneau, Zazie. The language in this book dazzles, and it is sort of a homage to slang as well as a tale of Paris and a little girl named 'Zazie' who if I knew in person I may want to strangle. But nevertheless what a fantastic piece of work.
M. Milner
Sometimes, I’ll call a book or story cinematic. Normally, I mean it as a way to say the writing is particularly visual, like the words immediately lend themselves to being seen. For example, when I thin of Casey Plett’s story “Not Bleak” (see: A Safe Girl to Love), I can picture the wide-open fields of the Canadian praries and the small Mennonite community, not to mention Zeke withdrawing into herself as they cross the border.

But here’s something else that seems cinematic, in a different sense
so many puns! so much grenadine! so many (gesture)s! what's up with the parrot? hey, was that marceline? and did that lady just DIE?!

absurd/zany/surreal but with a melancholy gallic heart, which is pretty much my favorite thing. minus one star because it felt like a lot was irretrievably lost in translation (though it's held up remarkably well, all things considered).

"Why," he was saying, "why should one not tolerate this life, since so little suffices to deprive one of it? So little brings it
Considered Raymond Queneau’s first major work, Zazie is a novel populated by fast-talking odd characters and has a buzzing energy that alerts the reader to the zazic treats that she will find in the 200 odd pages to follow. While this novel was written before Queneau and François Le Lionnais formed Oulipo, it has the makings of an Oulipian work. Queneau plays with words, more often than not using colloquialisms and phonetic language, which lends an oddity to his characters as well as adding to t ...more
Spring of 1962. A junior in high school. Had seen and read the "What is 'Pataphysics" issue of the Evergreen Review the prior year. So when I saw that the movie Zazie, after the book by Queneau, was playing at the Paris near the Plaza I asked Shelley to be my date and see the movie. To which she agreed and we went. I loved it. The whole craziness of Zazie, her uncle and his household. This was (to me) very exciting stuff. But then I was already at the time nuts for almost anything French. Which ...more
[Non si comincia un periodo con “insomma”.]
[Lo so che non si comincia un periodo con “insomma”, testina. Non rompere, per favore.]

Sempre meglio de “Il diario di Sally Mara”, comunque.
[Cosa sarebbe il “Il diario di Sally Mara”?]
[Sarebbe il precedente romanzo che ho letto di Queneau. Perché non provi a tenere il becco chiuso per cinque minuti? Vedrai che non ti fa male. A te si riposano le corde vocali e a me si riposa il cervello. Ok?]

Ma ridere non fa.
[E perché avrebbe dovuto far ridere?
I'm going to be mean and give this only 3 stars. But only because I think the translation is bad.
Sure translating Queneau is not easy, but I guess I was spoiled by Calvino's translation of "Les fleurs bleues" ("I fiori blu", "The Blue Flowers"). This translation has things like "gorgonzola", "stracchino" and "cappuccino". Oh really? I didn't realize the French (Parisians even, in 1959 even) ate Italian cheese and drank Italian coffee. Would it really have been so difficult to leave the French na
The combination of poet and city is a hard one to find fault. i never admired the poet who writes about 'nature,' but give me a poet who writes about buildings, streets, concrete, and the waterway around the city, and I am there for them. Especially if that city is Paris and the poet is Raymond Queneau, the overall essential literary figure of the 20th Century.

"Hitting The Streets" is a proper title for this collection of poems regarding the theme of human and city. And when the city is Paris,
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Queneau was born in Le Havre in 1903 and went to Paris when he was 17. For some time he joined André Breton's Surrealist group, but after only a brief stint he dissociated himself. Now, seeing Queneau's work in retrospect, it seems inevitable. The Surrealists tried to achieve a sort of pure expression from the unconscious, without mediation of the author's self-aware "persona." Queneau's texts, on ...more
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“Being or nothing, that is the question. Ascending, descending, coming, going, a man does so much that in the end he disappears.” 34 likes
“Why," he was saying, "why should one not tolerate this life, since so little suffices to deprive one of it? So little brings it into being, so little brightens it, so little blights it, so little bears it away. Otherwise, who would tolerate the blows of fate and the humiliations of a successful career, the swindling of grocers, the prices of butchers, the water of milkmen, the irritation of parents, the fury of teachers, the bawling of sergeant-majors, the turpitude of the beasts, the lamentations of the dead-beats, the silence of infinite space, the smell of cauliflower or the passivity of the wooden horses on a merry-g0-round, were it not for his knowledge that the bad and proliferative behaviour of certain minute cells (gesture) or the trajectory of a bullet traced by an involuntary, irresponsible, anonymous individual might unexpectedly come and cause all these cares to evaporate into the blue heavens.” 1 likes
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