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Autumn in Peking

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,245 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Boris Vian was a jack of all trades - although unfortunately his name was Boris and "Boris of all trades" never took off as a turn of phrase. But nevertheless Vian was a great songwriter, playwright, singer, jazz critic and, of course novelist so it should have been Boris instead of Jack. Vian's 1947 novel Autumn in Peking (L'Automne a Pekin) is perhaps Vian's most slapsti ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Tam Tam Press (first published 1947)
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Nate D
Oct 21, 2014 Nate D rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: surrealist misanthropes
Recommended to Nate D by: Heartsnatchers
Almost-surrealist Boris Vian's narratives are subject to utter mutability and unpredictability. At any moment, anything may happen, any however casual phrase has the power to spin off (via a tangential nuance of meaning) a totally unexpected plot thread, which will then prove integral to all that follows. However, anyone can write an insane and utterly unforeseeable text (see any number of mid-grade automatic texts by actual surrealists); Boris Vian's unique talent is for making his unpredictabi ...more
Marcus Mennes
Jul 13, 2009 Marcus Mennes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sociopaths
Autumn in Peking – Boris Vian

A few years ago I met a thirty something Frenchman in a youth hostel in Bariloche, Argentina and he confessed to me he had read everything by Boris Vian – including many works yet to be translated into English – but had read them a long time ago, during his University years, and that he hasn’t revisited them since. Vian represents a period author for my French friend; specifically young adulthood. Similar to say Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Ayn Rand, or Hermann Hesse
Aug 07, 2012 Dolmar rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lahierbaroja
Shelves: francia
He empezado la obra como si, a la velocidad de la luz, sorteara miles de obstáculos en una carrera muy divertida. Ese desquicio se frenó poco a poco, dando paso a una risa más tranquila y apreciando cierta crítica social, detrás de esas escenas tan estrafalarias. No hay detalle que a Vian se le haya escapado. La he encontrado perfecta, 5 estrellas.
Fantástico. Hay que poseer mucha imaginación para crear un mundo como el descrito en esta obra.
Escrito con lenguaje culto, pero con gran espontaneidad, lleva lo absurdo, más allá que cualquier predecesor.
Me ha hecho gracia las citas absolutamente fuera de lugar, que encabezan los capítulos...
E' il secondo Vian che leggo.
Appena lette le prime pagine l'atmosfera, il linguaggio, le tematiche "vianesche" sono emerse e mi hanno catturato ancora una volta.
Sembrava che nulla fosse cambiato.
Ci sono i temi cari allo scrittore: l'amore, la morte, la forte critica sociale e religiosa, affrontati nella solita maniera "surreale" di Vian.
Invece, procedendo nella lettura, tutto è diverso rispetto a "la schiuma dei giorni".
Là l'amore tra Chloè e Colin è un amore totalizzante e profondo che riempie
Although I am the publisher of this masterpiece, I still feel I can write about it - because I came upon it as a reader. I think Vian's "Autumn in Peking" is one of the great novels of French literature. it's hysterical for one thing, and on the other I find it moving in how Vian portrays his characters struggling to get the train tracks down... For what purpose?
André Benjamim

Comprei O Outono em Pequim (a minha edição não é a que está na imagem) quando nunca tinha ouvido falar do autor. É uma das coisas que me dá mais prazer: comprar livros ao acaso, de autores que não conheço; coisa que faço cada vez menos, porque por cada descoberta magnífica, maravilhosa, deslumbrante, e outros adjectivos elogiosos, pelo menos meia dúzia de volumes servem para ficar a encher as estantes de pó.

Comecei a lê-lo numa noite, nos tempos agora tão distantes da faculdade, em que insistira
Frank Dedge
(French version, titled l'Automne à Pékin)

The fact that Boris Vian wrote this book the same year he wrote l'Écume de Jours probably didn't help in its promotion. Which is a shame really as it is equally well-written and interesting in its literary madness.

Beginning with its misleading title (nowhere is Peking nor autumn mentioned in the book), the story continue in the spirit of l'Écume (or is it preceding it?), combining apparent naivety or simplicity of the characters with a layer of psycholo
Ingrid Joselyne
"-¿Qué puede ocurrir ya...? -suspiró Atanágoras en un tono fatigado y roto.
-Ocurrirá algo -dijo Petitjean-. No se trabaja en el desierto impunemente. Las cosas van por mal camino. Eso se huele."

Esta es una de las novelas de mayor confusión de Vian, que únicamente brilla sin luz propia en algunos diálogos. La fatalidad es el elemento clave de toda la obra, todos sus personajes yerran, se comportan de manera equivocada y siempre son conscientes de ello, las páginas se suceden con diálogos, a veces
Fábio Ventura
Foi com grande curiosidade que peguei numa obra de Boris Vian, um autor francês com um estilo muito próprio e dono de uma criatividade prodigiosa. Um verdadeiro homem dos sete ofícios, morreu precocemente aos 39 anos, em 1959. Mesmo assim, as suas obras foram um grande contributo para a literatura mundial. “Outono em Pequim” é uma dessas obras e, curiosamente, não fala nem do Outono nem de Pequim. E aí começa a nossa “relação” com este livro.
A obra conta-nos a história de um grupo de pessoas qu
Boris Vian is not a predictable author. I loved “Heartsnatcher,” barely tolerated “Foam of the Daze” and “I Spit on Your Graves” was not intended to be a vehicle for his talents. For the first sixty odd pages of “Autumn in Peking” (a title with absolutely no bearing on the contents of the book), I was fairly convinced that I’d embarked on another nonsense festival that probably holds together better when all of the (supposedly brilliant) wordplay of the author has not been killed or made wooden ...more
Marija Atanasova
ЦЕЛИ И ЗАДАЧИ: Читателот да го почувствува животот од еден поинаков, апсурдно-комичен агол и следствено да го сфаќа помалку сериозно.Не затоа што не носи тешки моменти, напротив, ги има во изобилство; туку затоа што барањето логика во нештата е исто толку бесмислено како градењето железница среде пустина.

ОЧЕКУВАНИ ИСХОДИ: Читателот ќе научи да танцува низ животот со леснотија и ќе ги прифаќа потешкотиите со кои се соочува со доза на црн хумор и цинизам.

Boris Vian prouve une fois de plus qu'il est maître de l'absurde, du fantastique, de l'usage des expressions au sens propre du terme.

De la construction d'un chemin de fer au milieu du désert, à la prise de température d'une chaise, il écrit sans complexe comme à son habitude.
Papa, c'est encore loin l'Exopotamie? Tais toi et creuse !

Et puis, tout de meme, quelle leçon de comptabilité :

"-On va construire un chemin de fer (?)
-Mais il n'y a pas de voyageurs, dit Athanagore
-Vous trouvez que ça arrange les chemins de fer, vous, les voyageurs ?
-Non, dit Athanagore. Evidemment non.
-Donc il ne s'usera pas, dit Amadis. Ainsi, dans les calculs des frais d'exploitation, on n'aura jamais à tenir compte de l'amortissement du matériel. Vous vous rendez compte ?
-Mais ce n'est qu'u
George Herms helped me pick this book from the TamTam Books table. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks, Tosh for publishing it!

p. 179:

"I'm not looking to be precise," said Angel, "because I truly detest trying to express something that i feel so clearly. What's more, I don't give a damn about being able or not being able to convey my point of view to others."

Somehow this book seemed dated, but not in a bad way. More like Waiting for Godot or something from that time. Too bad Vian will not
I really wanted to like this book it started out so hilarious and absurd with such vibrant descriptions.

In the end it seemed like a writing exercise that started well but went nowhere.

"A second 975 came and stopped smack-dab in front of Amadis. The exhausted vehicle huffed and puffed and was jam packed full of riders. A fat lady got off, followed by a cake knife that was being carried by tiny half-dead old man.
Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
5 stars for the first 30 pages, but then I don't know, feels like I'm in part cartoon, part American movie. None of the characterizations, conflicts, banter, and absurd predicaments got to me like the A and B vignettes early on. Vian has his moments of wicked irony, but its tough to sustain given the singular, snappy tone spread across the set up and wide cast of characters on Exopotamie.

3.5 stars.
Rodrigo Soares
O absurdo em toda a sua plenitude! É preciso uma grande abertura de espírito para conseguir aceitar todas as situações que vão caindo na narrativa, além de que é preciso estar muito atento a tudo o que vai acontecendo para não se perder o fio à meada!
Javier Jiménez
Cette livre est fantastique! C'est mon préféré de Boris Vian. Les personages sont trés bizarres, surtout Petitjean, il est trop drole. Le livre est spécial, il a d'aventure, d'amour, d'amusement, seulement Boris Vian pouvais écrire cet. Magnifique!
So imaginative and fantastical. I really enjoyed the surrealness even though, in the end, it was quite sad. A lot of the things he writes are laugh out loud funny. I don't speak French but I can tell the translation in this edition is excellent.
Что-то странное, непоятное, но хорошее))
Guillermo  Grebe-Lira
Lo compré por casualidad sin conocer al autor, su agudeza, su inteligencia y el sentido de lo absurdo me cautivaron, y una vez terminado este libro afanosamente busqué otros libros de boris vian y saber quien había sido, su vida, etc.
This books starts weird. And then it gets even weirder. If you like surreal and witty kind of humor, and if you are not afraid of a little challenge, I think there's a pretty good chance you will love this novel.
Anton Baranchuk
Jul 09, 2011 Anton Baranchuk is currently reading it
Romantic and sarcastic at the same time but wildly beautiful with exotic word play. Something like "electricity was dripping from the wire". Somewhat overloaded text, which makes it hard to read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The most strange book that I have ever read. However if you think out of the box about it, we all live in this desert... Interesting way to describe crazy world and even love.
Deeply profound nonsense and the one you should learn French for, because I cannot see how a translation could possibly capture half its wicked elegance.
Willie the Coyote
Niente da capire. Da leggere con un sorriso disincantato, senza lasciarsi prendere dallo sconforto...
completamente surreal!...gostei, talvez nao tanto como estava à espera...mas vale muito a pena
I'm a big fan of Vian, which is why I didn't expect this to be so boring and unfunny.
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Boris Vian was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. He is best remembered for novels such as L’Écume des jours and L'Arrache-cœur (translated into English as Froth on the Daydream and Heartsnatcher, respectively). He is also known for highly controversial "criminal" fiction released under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan and some of his ...more
More about Boris Vian...
L'Écume des jours I Spit on Your Graves Heartsnatcher L'herbe rouge - roman / Les lurettes fourrées - nouvelles Et on tuera tous les affreux

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“- Je l'ai tué, dit Angel.
- Non, dit Petitjean. Vous l'avez poussé et il est mort en arrivant sur les cailloux. C'est un hasard.”
“- ¿Ha visto usted los periódicos? Los conformistas nos la están preparando buena, ¿no?
- ¿Eh...? Sí..., sí, señor -murmuró Claude.
- Esos cerdos... Ha llegado el momento de espabilarse... Como usted sabe, están todos armados.
- Oh... -dijo Claude.
- Claramente se vio durante el Liberacionamiento. Llevaban armas para llenar camiones. Y, naturalmente, las personas decentes, como usted o como yo, no tenemos armas.
- Muy cierto.
- Usted, ¿no tiene?
- No, señor Saknussem.
- ¿Podría usted agenciarme un revólver? -preguntó Saknussem a quemarropa.
- Es que... -dijo Claude-. Quizás el cuñado de la señora que me alquila la habitación... No sé...
- Perfecto -dijo su jefe-. Cuento con usted, ¿eh? Que tampoco resulte demasiado caro; y con cartuchos, eh. Esos cerdos conformistas... No queda más remedio que ser precavido, ¿eh?
- Indudablemente -dijo Claude.
- Gracias, Léon. Cuento con usted. ¿Cuándo podría traérmelo?
- Tengo que preguntar.
- Por supuesto. Tómese el tiempo que necesite. Si quiere salir un poco antes...
- Oh, no. No merece la pena.
- Perfectamente. Y, por otra parte, cuidado con los borrones, ¿eh? Preocúpese de su trabajo. Qué diablos, no se le paga para no hacer nada.
- Tendré cuidado señor Saknussem -prometió Claude.
- Y llegue a su hora -concluyó el jefe-. Ayer llegó usted con seis minutos de retraso.
- Sin embargo, hoy estaba aquí nueve minutos antes... -dijo Claude.
- Sí -dijo Saknussem-, pero habitualmente llega usted con cuarto de hora de adelanto.”
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