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The Child (Jacques Vingtras #1)

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  211 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Child is a story about growing up that is comparable in humor and humanity to Great Expectations, even as its unflinching exposure of violence and hypocrisy foreshadows the nightmare realsim of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Jules Vallès, an anarchist and a bohemian, dedicated his book "to all those who were bored stiff at school or reduced to tears at home, who in childhood ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published January 31st 2005 by NYRB Classics (first published 1878)
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Jane
“A great nineteenth-century novel translated into English for the first time.”

So says the back cover of this book, and I have to agree.

I was gripped even from the dedication.

“I dedicate this book all those who were bored stiff at school or reduced to tears at home, who in childhood were bullied by their teachers or thrashed by their parents.”

Jacques, the young hero is thrashed by his parents in the very first chapter. They are unhappy people, concerned only with their social status and advanceme
...more
Alan
Best Bildungsroman I've ever read besides The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Denton Welch's incomparable In Youth is Pleasure. It is also one of the funniest novels I've ever read. He is funny in the way that Woody Allen is funny--but it is more funny than he. An obvious influence on Celine.

The book reminded me of the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore in its impossible balance of complete absurdity and very particular tenderness. Somehow the hilarity of the exaggeration does not undermine the
...more
Czarny Pies
Nov 13, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Les étudiants en histoire au premier cycle.
Shelves: french-lit
L'enfant est le premier volume de la trilogie Jacques Vingtras qui raconte la vie de Jules Valles de sa naissance jusqu'a la chute du commnue de Paris. Il vaut mieux lire les trois (L'enfant etant le premier et l'Insurge etant le dernier) dans leur ordre de parution.

L'Enfant est un récit autobiographique ou l'auteur décrit une enfance penible et pleines d'humiliations. Ce roman fait penser a L'enfance de Gorki. Dans les deux cas, une enfance douleureuse semble avoir pousser l'auteur a un engagem
...more
Chuck LoPresti
Not exactly hilarious (but it is funny) or unflinching (yet gripping and fairly brutal at times) but a very enjoyable coming of age read. Somewhere between Farrell's O'Neil saga and Moricz's Be Faithful Until Death in terms of humor and brutality. A young boy's parents demonstrate their lack of social intelligence by attempting to define their social status by their parenting. Beating after beating fails to do anything other than alienate a boy from his studies and his parents. The boy sees the ...more
Daria
Like Angela's Ashes, L'Enfant is the account of Valles furiously fighting the memory of an agonized childhood, armed to the teeth with desperate humor and marvelous dreams. Hilarious, spectacular, and terrible. I really must finish it someday.
Marvin
Je mets au défi quiconque de trouver une écriture plus vive et plus moderne. Vous ne croirez pas que ce roman a été écrit au XIXe siècle.
Nina
Un livre touchant. A lire.
Bridget
Mar 26, 2008 Bridget rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Apathy.
Recommended to Bridget by: GreenApple's warehouse sale
Shelves: nyrb
After you read Apathy, wait four books and then go for this gem. It's translated French loveliness from the Napolepnic era that is tres funny.. not side-splitting but entertaining.
Vu K
Aug 13, 2013 Vu K rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Vu by: no-one
Bộ sách mang tính tự truyện của chiến sĩ Công xã Paris Jules Vallès, tập 1 đầy tính hài hước, tự trào về gia đình, cha mẹ
Susan Zinner
Terribly depressing, not as funny as some people indicated; called "The Great Expectations" of France...
Louise
It was a bit hard to read, and kind of boring some time, but it was ok.
Andypants
if apathy was a coming-of-age story in 1800s France...
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NYRB Classics: The Child, by Jules Vallès 1 4 Oct 22, 2013 09:12AM  
  • The Strangers in the House
  • Chaos and Night
  • Memoirs of Montparnasse
  • Pages from the Goncourt Journals
  • The Radiance of the King
  • Mouchette
  • Afloat
  • My Fantoms
  • The New York Stories
  • La Curée (Les Rougon-Macquart, #2)
  • No Tomorrow
  • The Mad and the Bad
  • La modification
  • The Other House
  • La confession d'un enfant du siècle
  • The Slaves of Solitude
  • An Ermine in Czernopol
  • Mr. Fortune's Maggot; and, The Salutation

Other Books in the Series

Jacques Vingtras (3 books)
  • Le Bachelier
  • L'Insurgé
Le Bachelier L'Insurgé L'Enfant: Jacques Vingtras El testamento de un bromista Парижская коммуна

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