Troy's Reviews > The Counterfeiters

The Counterfeiters by André Gide
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Mar 10, 09

Read in December, 2006

The Counterfeiters, by Andre Gide, is a story about several characters all interconnected through misconnections, subterfuge, lies, and artifice.

I didn't really like the book - I found the interconnections too pat and forced - for me, it's too similar to the breathless shock formula used by soap operas: "OMG! Luara, Eduoard's unrequited love and best friend, is pregnant by Vincent? And Vincent is Olivier's brother?! That's crazy, because Eduoard is now in love with Olivier, and Bernard, Olivier's best friend, is now in love with Luara! Not only that, but Bernard is now working for Eduoard as his secretary! OMG,OMG,OMG!"

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My chart showing all the character connections.

The book was shocking for the time and deals with casual sex, murder and homosexuality in a casual (and codified) way. However, I was constantly annoyed with the indirect allusions to hot man lust - I wanted them to be straight about it, but no one in the novel was straight about anything - the novel was rife with ambiguous suggestion, tactics and deceit.

The Counterfeiters was also a look at contemporary (pre-War) morality, and what it means to be and do good. But the assumptions of the author and the characters constantly annoyed me, and their obsession with purity was confused with 'doing right.' I don't like the notion of purity, and especially dislike the 'pure woman' and the 'pure child' ideals, and although Gide slapped the notion of purity, it was still a central concern of the book. Since purity is far from one of my central concerns, I was bored.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Nate D (new)

Nate D More books should be reviewed by diagram, I think.


Troy It would be great to diagram Against the Day. I wish I would have done it. 2666 too.


message 3: by Nate D (new)

Nate D I guess that would fall to me on AtD now, wouldn't it, since I've just finished it. Diagraming 2666 would just lead to lots of little disconnected circles though.


Troy I'd think 2666 would look like incredibly complicated Venn diagrams. And AtD would look like a massive scribble. Hell, even the James-reading dog gets a wife and puppies. Also, I was shocked at the hopeful ending of AtD. I really wasn't expecting that. And I think AtD is Pynchon's most accessible book; maybe even easier to approach then V. Agree?


message 5: by Nate D (last edited Mar 15, 2009 11:35PM) (new)

Nate D I would probably agree if there was any way I could describe a 1100-page book as accessible in good conscience.

And while it never quite reached AtD's at times nearly gripping plotting, I do think V took a simpler, clearer approach to its symbol system, for better or for worse.


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