Megan's Reviews > The Lover

The Lover by Marguerite Duras
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May 15, 2011

it was ok
Read in May, 2011

I saw the movie The Lover many moons ago when I was about the same age as the narrator. I thought it was sensual and fascinating at the time. The ending left me stunned.

Now that I have read the book, in this strange case, I would have to say that I liked the movie better. It is not just that perhaps the subject matter is less revelatory now than it was when I was 13 or 14, it is that the book itself was hard to follow. There were frequent jumps between the narrator speaking of her affair when she was young and between herself in the present speaking about her family's past with no discernible segues in between. She also switches between first person and third person when speaking about herself at different times, which I found only provided confusion and took away from what could have been an engrossing story. With all these things considered, the novel seemed rather disjointed. Perhaps this is what Duras was going for, to mirror her disjointed sense of self as she looks back on her life, but it did not make for enjoyable reading. I found the writing itself to be kind of bland and uninteresting as well.

It goes against all my instincts to compare a book to a movie (yet alone in favor of the movie) on a book review site, but my reason for disappointment is linked with my immense enjoyment of the film. From watching the movie, I had expected the book to provoke a richer experience for the reader of the narrator's thoughts and feelings during her affair and while living with her rather dysfunctional family. Instead, the movie seemed more poignant to me than the book ever did. I was disappointed with the novel The Lover. I was really hoping for more.
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