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The Flight of Icarus

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  360 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Le Vol d'Icare est le dernier roman de Raymond Queneau, paru en 1968. Huber, un auteur à partir de 1895, crée un roman dont le personnage principal se nomme Icare. Ce dernier sort de son livre, emporté par un coup de vent et se retrouve perdu dans Paris. Huber Luber fait alors appel à un détective privé, Morcol, chargé de traquer Icare. Icar, quant à lui fait la rencontre ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published January 17th 1973 by New Directions (first published January 1st 1973)
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Oct 06, 2013 Geoff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queneau
”Ah! Icarus! Icarus! why try to elude the fate for which I had destined you? Where have you landed, in attempting to try out your wings? I await your return, whether voluntary or involuntary. In the meantime, all I can do is stare, dry-eyed, at that hard, forgotten lake which, under the hoar-frost, is haunted by the absence of a character. What a fate- that of a novelist without characters! Perhaps that is how it will be for all of us, one day. We won’t have any more characters. We shall be auth ...more
Nate D
As a brisk postmodern amusement, this late Queneau work is basically fluff, but it's good, entertaining fluff as far as that goes. Basically, a novelist loses his protagonist, who begins to make his way on his own in Paris, despite the detective enlisted to track him down. All expected hijinx ensue. Queneau maintains a light touch and general pervasive likeability, and his turns of words and word-play have a much better rate of actual humor than generally expected of this sort of thing, even ...more
Philippe Malzieu
Mar 14, 2014 Philippe Malzieu rated it it was amazing
Queneau is one of my preferred writers. I read all his books in the complète edition the Pleiad. There are several themes in these books. Country chronicles with fantastic, urban novels and atypical objects.In this last there is 100 000 000 000 poems. I would like to rate it but I can't find the good ISBN. Don't forget that Queneau was mathematician. He creates OULIPO for submit language to mathematical rules. For exemple, Pérec from Oulipo write a book without e (the disparition). Queneau write ...more
Chance Maree
Mar 19, 2014 Chance Maree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-next

Playful and light and charming. Provides flights of fancy for writers especially, but other folks moving along on this side of the turf may enjoy it as well. There's a metaphysical slant, subtle, if the reader is prone to such kinds of pondering. Chuckles are always welcome, and you'll find them here.

The main character, Icarus, is true to his name, with a new storyline that veers in an unexpected direction, until you realize the theme was there all along. I plan to read more of Queneau's work, w
Ronald Morton
Dec 14, 2015 Ronald Morton rated it really liked it
For those that don’t know, Raymond Queneau was the co-founder of the Oulipo group/movement (lazily quoting Wikipedia: Ouvroir de littérature potentielle; roughly translated: "workshop of potential literature"). His most famous works are likely Exercises in Style (in which a short story is told 99 different times, each in a different “style”); Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes; translated to Hundred Thousand Billion Poems (a book of ten sonnets, but each page is cut into 14 strips – for each line of ...more
MJ Nicholls
A novel in script. Charming and hilarious and as cute as a button.
Chuck LoPresti
Sep 05, 2012 Chuck LoPresti rated it it was amazing
Amongst the essential Queneau. Characters take flight from their pages and assume responsibility of their own fates. Succinct and essential - Queneau cuts the kite string from traditional character development and in possibly his most surreal writing the role of author, doctor, lover and character are all re-examined through Queneau's clarifying lense. Despite his reputation as odd and the seemingly bizarre subject matter - this is among Queneau's more straight-forward reads. It moves very fast ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Noce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La vita aiuta a sognare, o i sogni aiutano a vivere? Così direbbe Marzullo.

Ma qui piuttosto la domanda da farsi è: la fantasia serve a evadere dalla realtà, o la realtà serve a fuggire dalla fantasia di qualcun altro?

Icaro è il personaggio di due romanzi: quello del suo autore, che lo vorrebbe instradare verso un destino melanconico di fine secolo, e quello che leggiamo noi, in cui Icaro, decide di "involare"fuori dal manoscritto che lo imprigiona verso un futuro più roseo.

E come dargli torto de
Karla Paredes
The short story ‘The Flight of Icarus” may be sad for some people or even disappointing but, for me it was a rollercoaster that went up and down with different emotions. For example in the beginning, they were happy planning their escape from the prison of King Minor. They though everything was going to go as planned. Until the day of the escape Icarus got too carried away and kept going up towards the sky so, his wings melted. This caused Icarus to fall having a certain death. No matter how ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Daniela rated it really liked it
Shelves: rogue-wave
"The Flight of Icarus" took me on a emotional roller coaster. It was very exciting, especially when Icarus and his father were making wings. This story was also very surprising, but on the other hand, it was sad. It shocked me when Icarus went to close to the sun and his wings melted, and he fell.

The essential theme is obedience, always listen to your parents. If Icarus would have listened to his father he would not have gotten that close to the sun and his wings wouldn't have melted, but most i
Daniel El-Hage
Oct 11, 2015 Daniel El-Hage rated it really liked it
This story is like a bunch of butterflies in my stomach."The Flight of Icarus" has a perfect way of expressing ideas to the reader. That makes an interesting story in which hope is included. It made me feel like if I was really escaping from a prison in wings made from a dead bird. If the story wouldn't have all those little details, it would have been a boring one, and readers don't like boring stories...
Sep 05, 2014 blakeR rated it it was ok
Occasionally amusing as a farce, for me the best thing this has going for it is that it's an extremely quick read. As a caveat I readily admit that I'm probably not the intended audience -- I realize more with every book that I don't really have the patience for post-modern works (I believe that's what genre this fits into). You know, works that are more about process and style than actual narrative. For just one more example I couldn't stand Waiting for Godot, which is not to say I think it's n ...more
Ana Lopez
Icarus and his father were locked in a tower by the king, who got angry with Deadalus, Icaru´s father because he was supposed build a labyrinth so that Theseus could not escape the island of Crete. But when he did escape, King Minor got so mad he put Deadalus and his son, Icarus, in a tower on the same island. But since Icaru´s father was an artist he came up with an idea to escape the island and head on to Sicily, flying. And so, he went to his son and ordered him to go look for all the ...more
Mar 13, 2014 Paola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi riservo di cercarlo in futuro in lingua originale per apprezzarlo ancora di più perché i giochi di parole (di cui si trova qualche traccia anche nella traduzione) sono sicuramente la spina dorsale dello stile del racconto, ma purtroppo molti li avrò persi per strada perché non conosco così bene il francese da poter fare una traduzione simultanea dall'italiano per l'intera opera.
Sicuramente un primo gioco di parole sta già nel titolo con il termine "involato", ma quello che mi ha fatto più di
Maria Garcia
Sep 27, 2015 Maria Garcia rated it really liked it
This story is heartbreaking story, were the freedom Icarus was feeling lead him to his death. The Flight of Icarus is an story that at first isn't interesting but as you keep going you just can't stop reading. On top of that, is a story that melts your hard. The Flight of Icarus represents the love of a father that can’t always protect his children. This story is a story is a story of abidance.
In this story it it is stated that the author wanted to show obedience. If Icarus will have been obedie
Ada gonzalez
Sep 24, 2015 Ada gonzalez rated it it was ok
The Flight of Icarus is a short story or myth that I didn't understand very well.There is a father (Deadalus) and his son (Icarus).They were trapped and wanted to escape.So they recollected feathers and sticked them with wax.Deadalus tought Icarus how to fly and told him not to fly too high or too low.Icarus felt free and forgot what his father had told him. He flew up to the sun. Then the wax started melting, and Icarus fell to the ocean and died.Deadalus buried his son and called the place ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Guille rated it it was amazing
The story “The Flight of Icarus” made my mind go wild. In my opinion, it was a suspenseful story. It was clearly a teamwork kind of story. It showed that teamwork can accomplish everything. The fact that Icarus dies was a totally unexpected factor from the story. This story was full of scenes that hit me like “BANG!”; completely unexpected actions. This story was just pure awesomeness.

Guillermo Alba
Maria Laura
Sep 24, 2015 Maria Laura rated it really liked it
I am a person who loves myths; I also love descriptive writing. Myths are stories that greeks created to explain the mysteries in life, and for me that is so thoughtful. These stories include great descriptions and it makes every thing sound huge.The Flight of Icarus doesn't quite explain something but it still include great characteristics. The author's descriptions made me visualize the myth as if it was a movie in my head! The only problem was that it was too short!
Paula Torres
Oct 15, 2015 Paula Torres rated it it was ok
"The Flight of Icarus" is not a very good book for my taste. It doesn´t have a good explanation of why Deadalus needed to make the "prison" and why his son was involved. Let´s make it clear: it´s a myth, and all myths are predictable and that takes all the fun from the story. But, it´s a short story and it doen´t take much time, so if you have extra time you can go ahead and read it.
Matt Leibel
Nov 11, 2010 Matt Leibel rated it really liked it
Been meaning to read some Queneau for a while. I thought this was just hysterical, a meta-story without all the tedious meta-theory. Author loses his character, hires a detective to track him down, character is loose in the world and only a few weeks old--hijinks ensue. Want to read more of his stuff, and more OULIPO in general. I like the combo of wild playfulness and structural constraints.
Ana Gonzalez
Oct 13, 2015 Ana Gonzalez rated it liked it
Maybe I loved it or maybe I didn't. I don't really know. It was very confusing and I really didn't understand it. It was really sad that his son died. Also it was very brave for him to continue with his journey without his son. He also was brave to let his son go at first, but he wanted him to be free.
Valeria Ortega
Dec 01, 2015 Valeria Ortega rated it liked it
"The Flight of Icarus" is like an atomic bomb, that hits you right in the center of your heart. Every word, line, sentence or paragraph make you feel with a different feeling. I felt part of the characters of the story because of the author's description.The final part of the story broke my heart into a thousand pieces. As a result this was a sentimental roller coaster story!
Nov 02, 2015 Omarcito rated it it was ok
I think the book sucked. The book had a cheap ending and a poor theme plus it had very basic characters. The book did't even have a good problem. It did show a theme though,but it was not very interesting or important. I would recommend this book for a 7 year old who doesn't like many books. I hated it.
Jorge Santos
Oct 29, 2015 Jorge Santos rated it really liked it
For me, The Flight of Icarus was a story that brought a lot of excitement but at the same time laughter. Because I laughed when he went so high into the sun and then died in the water. I loved Doedalus ideas because they where actually very good. It is incredible how greek people where so inteligent without the technologie we have nowadays. I give this book 4 stars.
Enrique Hernandez
Oct 12, 2015 Enrique Hernandez rated it really liked it
The story “The Flight of Icarus” is a compelling story that intrigues the reader of what’s going to happen next. I specially was intrigued when they made the wings to fly. I was curious of what would happen next. “The Flight of Icarus” is also a story with a lot of imagination. It is a very good story and great to read in your free time.
Oct 06, 2010 Joel rated it really liked it
be careful... someone else might write your life before you
Dec 11, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, french, france
Hubert Lubert is writing a novel, but when his protagonist Icare (Icarus) disappears, everything goes sideways. 'Le Vol d'Icare' is metafiction at its best : intelligent play with the notions of author, character and fictionality, mixed up with some hilarious one-liners.

It's all just one big game for Queneau, but there's some really nice idea's in here as well. The first thing Lubert does when he notices Icare has disappeared, is accuse his friends, fellow authors, of having stolen his characte
Rosa Elena
Sep 25, 2015 Rosa Elena rated it really liked it
“The Flight of Icarus” was a story that I enjoyed for many reasons, until when everything gets to sadness. When I read that it was a Greek myth, I was thinking that the story was going to be awesome! I felt happiness when Daedalus finally built human wings with the help of Icarus.
However, every story needs to have a conflict, an OMG moment, or climax. I can’t describe how sad I felt when Icarus tried to fly but he fall down into the middle of the sea, because the wax melt. I felt horrible, mostl
Ms. Nina
Sep 22, 2015 Ms. Nina rated it really liked it
"The Flight of Icarus" is a troubling story to me. The plight of poor Icarus lingers on my nerves, making me wish he just hadn't been so boastful, hadn't flown so high! My heart aches for Daedalus. How awful must it be to watch your son plummet to his death? I long for an alternate ending. Yet, it is exactly because the myth is so disturbing that I rated it so highly. It is a story that sticks. It's theme encourages readers to be cautious, but most of all to be humble -- don't boastfully soar ...more
Jun 15, 2009 Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Last year I enjoyed Raymond Queneau’s Exercises In Style, arguably his most famous book, although as narrative goes it was rather slight, being the same story told ninety-nine times in all manner of styles. The title, really, is a bit of a giveaway. As such it’s been in my mind to read some more Queneau, to experience him in control of a more substantial narrative, to see how his playful style is maintained over a longer story.

Read my full review here.
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How could you add this myth into a curriculum? 1 5 Feb 16, 2008 08:36PM  
  • The Great Fire of London: A Story with Interpolations and Bifurcations
  • Paralı Asker
  • Locus Solus
  • Adventures in 'Pataphysics
  • Oulipo Compendium
  • Tlooth
  • The Hundred Headless Woman
  • Babylon
  • Georges Perec: A Life in Words
  • Castle to Castle
  • Château d'Argol
  • Collection of Sand
  • Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature
  • The Inquisitory
  • Le dictateur et le hamac
  • Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books
  • Contes cruels
  • Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature
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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