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Class Trip & The Mustache
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Class Trip & The Mustache

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  194 ratings  ·  34 reviews

La Moustache--now a film directed by Emmanuel Carrère

"What would you say if I shaved off my mustache?" asks The Mustache's hero of his wife. Once removed, his wife and friends not only fail to recognize him, but deny the existence of the former mustache altogether. A metaphysical nightmare of the grandest kind, The Mustache is a stunning blend of absurdist comedy and philo
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Picador (first published March 15th 1998)
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Two short pieces that really dig into the unsettling paranoia that grows creepily and pervasively stronger when one's view of the world becomes tuned to a slightly different—and far more sinister—frequency. All those fears that lurked just below the surface when you were a child—of what exactly was hidden around that next seemingly inoffensive corner, and what terrifying beasts were concealed within the otherwise stolid frames of the adults who towered above you—mix with the rich fantasy factory ...more
Two novels in one volume and both are really good. Also both are kind of creepy and disturbing, which in my world is perfectly fine.

"The Mustache" is something I can relate to in a way. It's a story of a man who shaves his moutache and no one noticed that he had a moutache before. This sort of happened to me when I had a beard many years ago. People are not that observant, so a little change or even a big change may not be noticed. And that's really upsetting - not due to the lack of attention,
When writing a story, it is very difficult to make a good ending. This author knows how to end stories. It was genius how the author could grasp the thoughts of the insanity. I could not sleep after i finished, so I had to watch a movie afterwords to put me down. It was pi. I am still watching the movie, its noon and I keep watching pi, I just paused it for a second to let everyone know i finished reading the story.
Bruno Alves da Silva
(Acessível em

Duas novelas em um volume, O bigode e A colônia de férias não parecem, na leitura da orelha, histórias relacionadas. Temi que tivessem jogado duas histórias do autor, Emmanuel Carrère, em um único volume. Após a leitura, entretanto, quaisquer dúvidas são dissipadas: há uma unidade temática em ambas. É perceptível que a paranoia, o trauma, a descida em um monólogo interno de um personagem desamparado, são elementos que formam entre os dois um
"the mustache" is one of the most disturbing stories i have ever read. it seems like the pinnacle of gaslighting, and even worse than most because he seems to have gaslit himself. i had to stop reading this story for a while because it disturbed me too much to finish it in one go, but finally gained the courage to finish it a bit later. terrifying.
These stories by Carrere were fabulous! The author is very crafty at building suspense and drawing you into his creepy stories in his clever and unpretentious style. The story The Moustache really gets under your skin as Carrere's protagonist tries desperately to discover what is real/ity in his life just as the reader attempts to do the same never quite trusting the protag.'s view of reality. This story made me think about the characteristics that define us and what would happen if these defini ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Leslie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Leslie by: Janalyn!
Shelves: read-in-2009
Disorganized thoughts re: Class Trip (I did not read the second novel in this volume):

This is a book about imagined trauma: other folks’ trauma we absorb, trauma we anticipate without experiencing it.

Nicolas is perceptive, macabre and wimpy—the sort of child who whimpers aloud, feigns illness and hasn’t a shred of dignity. He has a grim imagination. He is spooky and spooked.

I admire how well Carrere ("the Stephen King of France") writes in the voice of a young child. He captures the tension Nic
Its kind of like a French-risque--the main character has his first wet dream--version of Stephen King's "It" or "The Body"(Stand By Me-movie). Its written hyper-vividly in the perspective of this over-protected boy at a school weekend trip. He's a bullied, outcast, bed-wetter with this really gory imagination, and he has this private, after hours, hardy boys relationship with the popular kid, solving a missing child case going on in the area....Its borderline pedaphile fiction, really well-writt ...more
May 13, 2008 Dfine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Surrealists, people who aren't easily disturbed
I have finished "The Mustache" half and must say it's one of the most disturbing mental traps ever set to paper. The term Camus used to describe his own writing really applies here: existential terror. Class Trip is turning out to be a captivating read. The translation to english in the Picador edition is a bit blocky, but not too distracting. The stories may not change your life (one hopes), but they are a special kind of experience. I recommend reading each story in one sitting, it will only t ...more
Dan Mahoney
Amazingly twisty plots! I would read it again just to absorb some more of the intricacies.
Jill Polsby it it false...what's real? Absolutely fascinating novella. Still don't know what was real if anything but could't put it down. Amazing that an author can construct such a mind play story. I guess the movie that was made from this is nowhere near as good but the very thought of someone making a movie of this.....especially the ending.
Fabulous! I read The Mustache almost in one reading and adored the way it confused and shocked me. The way it mixed reality with lies and imagination with insanity was fantastic and really disturbing. Very elegantly written.

I've read Class Trip earlier which also deals with imagination and fear but from what I remember, it wasn't as thrilling as The Mustache.
Robert Mooney
Two disturbing stories. Very, very well written. 'Class Trip' is good, slightly predictable, and incredibly sad. 'The Mustache' starts out slowly (maybe even a bit boring) but suddenly the floor drops out and you're on a fast slide into insanity. Did I mention the stories are disturbing? Not for everyone, these stories are for you.
These two short novels compliment each other well, showing by turn Carrere's deep investigation into the psyche, sometimes blurring between reality, fantasy and madness. Both take unexpected turns that pull you in tighter into the minds of the main characters. Reminded me a bit of Auster.
3.5 stars. The Mustache was very intelligently crafted, and seemed like a textbook example of psychological horror. Class Trip was well done, too, but I didn't buy the denouement. Carrere is particularly good at writing anxious and paranoid interior monologue.
Nov 20, 2009 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ed by: Bargain Bin at the Strand
A great read. The Class Trip captures perfectly the voice of a shy, awkward teen. The Moustache is a surprisingly exciting thriller about a man who shaves off his moustache and is alarmed to find that no one in his life remembers that he ever had one.
Luin vain toisen Carrèreista, Huviretken painajaisiin. Lupasi paljon enemmän kun antoi. Eli tunnelmalla, ei niinkään teoilla. Pidin ideaa ja juonta sinällään mielenkiintoisina, mutta kirja ei lyhyydessään antanut mitään mieleenpainuvaa.
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Class Trip explored unlikely friendships and the sadness of being unwanted. It was an interesting story, but The Mustache is the master of twists and suspense with blurred lines between reality and paranoia in this collection.
Class Trip was sort of slow, but the Mustache is AMAZING!!! It also contains the most compelling case I've ever read for maintaining a bushy mustache (anything less could lead to death and disaster).
Amazing. Tight, suspenseful writing that delivers true horror and just the right amount of detail to immerse yourself in the protagonists' inner lives. Mysterious, creepy, and totally engrossing.
Well-paced; understated; slightly "off" characters. The stories are eerie as opposed to scary, and each ends with a chill that lingers. Best classified as "highbrow Stephen King."
Two good stories, both of them kind of creepy, though, really. The writing is a bit flat, but that is probably the fault of its being a translation. I didn't read it in french!
Chrissie Middleton
could not stand the style of writing or the characters. life is way too short to finish this book.
the underlying themes are interesting...i will give it that.
May 11, 2008 April-lyn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Picked this up shortly after a few friends and I watched a film version of "Class Trip", but I haven't motivated myself to actually read it yet. One day.
Oct 31, 2008 Jeff marked it as to-read
Recommended to Jeff by: KCRW Bookworm
Watched the movie, Le Moustache and it was pretty terrible. Heard the author on KCRW's Bookworm and thought I'd give the book a shot.
'The Mustache' is terrifying in so many ways. Read it and be terrified. Think about it afterwards and be more terrified.
disturbing and it was hard to determine what was real - I could not put it down.
A.S. Patric
A superb short story idea stretched and stretched to fill out a novel.
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Emmanuel Carrère is a French author, screenwriter and director. He is the son of Louis Carrère d'Encausse and French historian Hélène Carrère d'Encausse.

Carrère studied at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (better known as Sciences Po). Much of his writing, both fiction and nonfiction, centers around the primary themes of the interrogation of identity, the development of illusion and the d
More about Emmanuel Carrère...
Limonov I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception The Mustache Class Trip

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