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Lovers

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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  26 reviews
For Sébastien Faure, the experience of love is so profound, so complete and transformative that, in its wake, he will be left with an almost occult understanding of the world, a potent knowledge bequeathed to him by passion that will endure even when the object of his love is no more. Sébastien is fifteen years old and already versed in the medicinal properties of plants a ...more
Paperback, 129 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Europa Editions (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 326)
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Ann Klefstad
Great translation, retains the kinetic qualities of its original language, so recognizably French from the first sentence, beginning with an exclamation of the divine and leading up, through twists of diction, to the materiality in question: "God, how commonplace, in that time before the chaos and the proclamation of liberties, to have a father who tills the soil and a mother who makes invigorating concoctions!" In 100 short (often half-page) chapters, a great passion is outlined that will color ...more
Naomi
another book store find; i picked it up mostly because i have tended to appreciate the books published by Europa editions. (i'm going to have to say again that i *love* my local book shop -- The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square in Chicago. great books, helpful and knowledgeable staff, and a lovely cafe that also serves wine and beer.) (i'm not an owner, and i'm not an employee--just a grateful customer.)

this book is written from the perspective of several characters, with lovely language (although
...more
Benjy
Eh.

This is the appropriate length for a story as scant and superficial as this one. I enjoyed it just fine but if I'd spent more than one sitting reading it, I would have been upset. The brief sections are quite nice on their own but taken as a whole, they don't add up to much and the narrative is poorly paced and often illogical.

It's probably my own close-mindedness but certain aspects (crots, jumps in perspective, narrative gaps and fixations, plot elements) made Lovers seem like a lesser-than
...more
Laure
Comme je suis contente d'avoir acheté ce livre ! Je n'en attendais pas tant, mais il m'a ravie. Assez court, il se lit d'une traite : une soirée de voyage au cœur d'un amour absolu.
Daniel Arsand manie les mots avec brio. Ce qui pourrait être mièvre devient fatal, mystique. Le ton est toujours juste, l'auteur ne rate jamais son but.
Je le relierai avec plaisir.
Diane
Sep 09, 2013 Diane marked it as to-read
Jhumpa Lahiri says this is the best book she's read this year. I'm in.
Jim
This is one of those handsome Europa editions that comes festooned with hushed praise. "So spare but so rich." Well, it's spare all right, but as I absorbed how preposterous its conceit and how unsatisfying its denouement, I felt it far too long. Lovers is a period piece, a bated-breath costume drama that lacks the dignity of soft porn or the savage wit of Laclos, a story of two improbably-matched lovers, doomed and beautiful of course. Superb sentiment is not enough.
Elisabeth Watson
Dis. Uh. Pointed. I saw some advance promotion, and was intrigued. Also, since I'll buy just about anything published by Europa, I put this on hold as soon as it came out. I have to admit that I was a little put off by the way Europa flogged this on Twitter (tweeting snippets) as, like, BEING Pride month, for days on end. But still. I picked it up with expectation on Monday and ended in dissatisfaction on Tuesday.

More than anything, it felt sloppy. Sloppy in character, sloppy in imagery, sloppy
...more
Ellen
Lovers is almost a prose poem, rather than a novella. Its language is beautiful if sparse. The relationship between these two eighteenth-century men, one landed, very rich, the other a talented peasant, is not very believable but like a sad fairytale. I found it absorbing and rich, despite its length.
Amandine
Avis à la première lecture en janvier 2011 : (view spoiler) ...more
Elizabeth
This novella had enjoyable prose and was translated fantastically, I would recommend it for that alone. The story itself was captivating and all the more enjoyable for being so short and quickly paced--I doubt it would have been as enjoyable had it been much longer than this. The characters were interesting and it was easy to relate to the emotions they experienced.

I would recommend this to anyone looking to spend an hour or two losing themselves in a decent story, with well-written prose. Good
...more
Sal
Not my kind of Lovers but it was well written. I did not finish it.
Sean
This was one of those "glad I read it, beautifully written, unforgettable" books that I didn't necessarily love. The translation is impressive and the chapters were almost like poetry. It was sensual artistic and inventive. But this didn't mean it rocked me to the core or stayed on my mind. I think its gaining steam on these shores because Jhumpa Lahiri can't stop talking about it. Technically it is definitely an achievement to say so much with so few words. But I couldn't help but wonder what t ...more
Sheila
This is the first book I've ever rated as a 1 (DIDN'T LIKE) Why? Because usually if I dislike a book this much I just move on. But, because I'm an insomniac and the book was like 100 pages, I read it. I did NOT find the story either original or compelling. I did NOT find the language sparce and lovely. Sorry, maybe something got lost in the translation.
Susan Zinner
While I love the Europa Edition books, this one was rather slight without well-developed characters. The plot involves a wealthy man whose life is saved by a peasant boy and the two become lovers, which is very shocking to 18th century France and the man is arrested, while the boy escapes.
Jennifer
"Arsand is able to pack quite a story into such a short book; but the story, such as it is, is full of heartbreak. Lovers is a very beautifully written, yet sad novella."

See full review at:

http://sometimesjenniferreads.wordpre...
Princess
Quite an unusual book. There are abrupt shifts from an omniscient voice to third and second person viewpoints. Some questions are left unanswered. Still, it is a beautiful and truthful meditation on love - both highs and lows are considered here. Re-readable.
Julian
The prose was absolutely lyric and the content was terribly depressing. Found it an easy, lovely read, and finished it in one sitting. Forgot to eat dinner I was so consumed in the style.
Annette
Spare yet evocative of the entire landscape; of an era and of love itself. This is a gem whose many facets illuminate the shades and hues of deep connection, transcendence and courage.
Christopher
For fans of Jeanette Winterson's The Passion and compressed style. Lovely, disturbing, passionate words on the nature and passage of lovers, it's obsessions and intricacies.
Neil
I thought this was a beautiful book - masterfully crafted, sparsely written, artistic. What Arsand has done with very few words in this book is remarkably poetic.
Kayne
It is an interestingly written book. Each chapter is a single page to page and a half. It is quite simply a love story between two men. Sad and beautiful.
Donna
Completed in one sitting. Great writing that encompassed the feeling of an age (just prior to the French Revolution) in a slim book.
Diana  G
I picked this book because I really enjoy Europa editions. Lovers is very spare and hauntingly sad.
Barbara
A very short, very striking story of a young gay man in pre-Revolution France.
Jon
Thanks Linda at Women and Children First. Loved it!
Brainx
Brainx marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
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“Winter, then spring, summer, and soon autumn. All seasons are one, ice-cold, featureless, a hell of dreariness.” 1 likes
“Tu seras mon élève, tu seras mon maître, tu acquerras la gloire, tu me seras fidèle, tu m'abandonneras, tu me reviendras toujours.
Et à l'aube se dire : Nous sommes ensemble.”
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