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In the Café of Lost Youth

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  5,697 ratings  ·  690 reviews
In the Café of Lost Youth is vintage Patrick Modiano, an absorbing evocation of a particular Paris of the 1950s, shadowy and shady, a secret world of writers, criminals, drinkers, and drifters. The novel, inspired in part by the circle (depicted in the photographs of Ed van der Elsken) of the notorious and charismatic Guy Debord, centers on the enigmatic, waiflike figure o ...more
Paperback, NYRB Classics Original, 118 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by NYRB Classics (first published October 4th 2007)
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Geoffrey Fox Lots of people, I'm sure. It has sold well in France. After all, Modiano received the Nobel Prize, and this brief work es especially accessible. The…moreLots of people, I'm sure. It has sold well in France. After all, Modiano received the Nobel Prize, and this brief work es especially accessible. The other book of his that I reviewed in Goodreads is more autobiographical, also with Paris as a leading character.(less)

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Mutasim Billah
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france

"There were two entrances to the café, but she always opted for the narrower one hidden in the shadows."



Paris, 1950s. We're inside a café called Condé. Bohemian youth and some older men form the crowd of this Condé, where our central character walks in. She's a young lady, mysterious, elegant and awkwardly quiet in her ways. The regulars at the café call her Louki, but no one apparently knows her real name.



Where did Louki come from? What was her past like? What is with this enigma surrounding
...more
Steven Godin
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
“She had known right from the outset that things would turn out badly for us.”

Young, disaffected students along with the failed and weary are the patrons of the cafe Condé—collectively known as “the lost Youth,” gathering throughout day and night to pass time.
War is over, there is a new calm throughout Paris, but meaning has been drained from life, and lost souls seem to be in every direction. But then there’s Louki to provide a pick-me-up, young, elegant, mysterious and heavenly quiet. Who is
...more
Dolors
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those in search of their lost youth
Recommended to Dolors by: Cristina
Shelves: read-in-2016
Set against the backdrop of the sixties in Paris, “In the Café of Lost Youth” explores the idea of a safe haven for those who wander through the “neutral zones” of a city where past, present a future are disquietingly interconnected.

Bohemians, undergraduates, writers and philosophers find common ground in the “Condé”, a café where the four narrators struggle to set straight their half-remembered lives while navigating the turbulent waves of an elusive present. But unlike Proust’s “recherche”, t
...more
Hugh
This is my second experience of Patrick Modiano - I read Dora Bruder a few years ago and to be honest didn't really enjoy it or quite get the point of it. It has been chosen as a group read this month by the 21st Century Literature group.

It is only a short book, and perhaps I made the mistake of reading it in several sessions over four days because other commitments meant my reading time was limited, so I feel I missed some of the resonances. It is quite an elusive story - what plot there is con
...more
Duane
Paris in the 1950's. If I could choose a time travel destination, it might just be there and then. The War was history, the city was beautiful, and a Bohemian lifestyle existed in a cafe culture that I would have loved to experience.

That's the setting for this melancholic story by Modiano. The story of Louki, the enigmatic young woman who is emotionally and spiritually lost. She is constantly on the move through the streets and cafe's of Paris, seeking out others like herself.

This is my second n
...more
Algernon
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017

At the halfway point of the journey making up real life, we were surrounded by a gloomy melancholy, one expressed by so very many derisive and sorrowful words in the cafe of lost youth.

With this epigraph by Guy Debord I feel ready to dig into my first mystery novel by Patrick Modiano and discover what is so special about his stories to merit a Nobel Prize in literature...

The central mystery of this slim yet multi-layered novel is the eternal "cherchez la femme" – the quest to unlock the myster
...more
Jacob Overmark
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This has been a very emotional trip to Paris, touching on so many levels.

I picture myself walking the streets of Paris.
My then girlfriend was studying and working near the Opera, and I had too much spare time.
It is morning, midday, afternoon, evening and night. At all hours I am exploring, new streets and new quarters, going by the Metro to the last station on the line, some times walking back.
I have seen all the characters who might have lost their youth, and those clinging hard to whats left
...more
Denis
Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of things have been written about Modiano's "little music", and once again it is his little music (a certain way of writing, a unique way of creating a special atmosphere, etc) that holds this novel together and makes its undeniable charms. Not by any means Modiano's best book, it is nevertheless as delightful, dreamy, bitter-sweet, vaguely melancholy and extremely nostalgic, as most of his novels are. Nothing much happens, in this story about a mysterious young woman whose portrait emerges ...more
Elina
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Δυστυχώς η γλυκόπικρη αυτή ιστορία δεν με άγγιξε καθόλου. Μάλλον με έκανε να βαρεθώ κιόλας. Δεν ένιωσα να με παρασύρουν συναισθήματα γιατί δεν ξύπνησε μέσα μου κανένα συναίσθημα. Όλο αυτό που διάβασα μου φάνηκε ψυχρό και αποστασιοποιημένο. Ίσως και λίγο ψεύτικο. Τί να κάνουμε...γούστα είναι αυτά.
Deea
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobel
I read this book without knowing anything about its subject, its form or anything. I just liked the title and decided to read it. It's a very interesting exercise of literature and the style is totally enticing: while reading it I had the feeling that I was in a boat on a really quiet sea, being carried by the lullaby of the waves. It was a strange sensation and it continued up to the very end.

I don't want to write anything about the subject of the book itself as I think any prior information yo
...more
Neil
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I had sat down at the counter. I had taken a postcard and started to write. "Just wait a little bit longer. I think things will be better." I had lit a cigarette and stuck a stamp on the card. But who to send it to?

This is my first experience of Modiano and I am grateful to the 21st Century Literature group for choosing it for the February 2018 group read because I doubt I would have picked it up otherwise. It is very short, but it probably needs at least 2 readings to get to grips with it.

There
...more
César Lasso
No me ha gustado mucho mi primera novela del premio nobel Patrick Modiano. Pasará tiempo antes de que vuelva a asomarme a su obra.

En el café de la juventud perdida pretende retratar a una cierta generación de jóvenes en el París de los años sesenta. Para ello, toma como punto de referencia un cierto café Condé donde se reunían una serie de bohemios, la mayoría veinteañeros y algunos adultos que se mezclaban bien con esos jóvenes. Todos tienen en común un afán de vivir y beber el presente. Además
...more
Heba
...موديانو ..موديانو ...بالرغم من خوفي الشديد قبل قراءة هذة الرواية إلا إنني تغلبت على مخاوفي واستطعت أن أقراها للنهاية وما ذلك إلا لانني أحببت أسلوبك الكتابي رغماً إنه قد يبدو غامضاً وضبابياً في البداية الا إنه سرعان ما ينقشع الضباب وينكشف المعنى
حقاً إنه مقهى الشباب الضائع
الشباب الذى يعيش الخواء ولا يفكر في أن يملأه.. ليس له ماض بعد فيضيع الحاضر ولا ينتظر المستقبل
ولكن من يظن إن الشباب لا يمتلك ماض فهو مخطيء.. فطفولتهم وتجاربهم الأولية في الحياة والأشخاص الثانوية التى تظهر على عتبة طريقهم هى ال
...more
Stela
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stela by: ΑνναΦ

Les points fixes des zones neutres


Qu’est-ce que l’éternel retour ? Pour Nietzsche, c’est une allégorie aux connotations morales, un choix hypothétique que la mort nous offrirait entre le néant et la répétition perpétuelle et détaillée de notre vie. Pour le hindouisme, c’est la description du destin humain, le piège des avatars, c’est-à-dire des renaissances successives. Pour Mircea Eliade, c’est la dialectique du sacré par rapport au profane : la répétition infinie des gestes archétypales afin
...more
Anastasia
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, owned-books
Από την πρώτη σελίδα ξεκινάει η ρομαντική περιπλάνηση του αναγνώστη στο Παρίσι της δεκαετίας του '60. Αναμνήσεις, ελπίδες και ανεκπλήρωτα όνειρα φωλιάζουν στα στενά μονοπάτια, στις πολυσύχναστες λεωφόρους και σε κάθε ξεχασμένη γωνιά της μποέμικης γαλλικής πρωτεύουσας. Ο Patrick Modiano ντύνει τους χαρακτήρες του με μια νοσταλγική ατμόσφαιρα που γεννιέται από θαμπές εικόνες άσκοπων συναντήσεων, συναναστροφών και διαδρομών. Η μαγική, μελωδική γραφή του με τις μικρές, κοφτές περιόδους συντελεί στη ...more
Sofia
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Το café της χαμένης νιότης είναι η ιστορία ενός κοριτσιού που έχει εξαφανιστεί, όπως αυτή ξετυλίγεται μέσα από το πρίσμα διάφορων ατόμων του περίγυρού της. Σε κάθε κεφάλαιο υπάρχει κι ένας διαφορετικός αφηγητής που προσθέτει κάτι στο ψηφιδωτό της προσωπικότητάς της. Κάποια στιγμή, ακούμε και την δική της πλευρά να φωτίζει επιλεκτικά όσα θέλει εκείνη να μας αποκαλύψει, και μόνο αυτά.
Το βιβλίο δεν έχει ιδιαίτερη δράση κάτι που ίσως να κουράσει κάποιους αναγνώστες. Από την άλλη νομίζω ότι ο στόχος
...more
Tuấn  Lalarme
Tôi đã không muốn đọc quyển sách này, vì tôi cảm giác, nó sẽ rất gần với mình, nó sẽ là lời thủ thỉ về một Paris nào đó đã qua của tác giả với những số phận trôi dạt trong tuổi trẻ của mình, những số phận bất an, buồn, bối rối và lạc lõng. Tôi không muốn đọc nó vì tôi nghĩ tôi sẽ tìm thấy tôi trong đó, tôi của những năm tháng mà Paris giống như một trốn để tôi trốn vào tìm cho mình ý nghĩa của chuyến hành trình của đời mình.

Nhưng rồi cũng đọc, có lẽ cũng với cùng 1 lý do mà tôi không muốn đọc nó
...more
Doug
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
My first Modiano, and although I liked this well enough, doubt I'll be feverishly anxious to read more anytime soon. Not having been to Paris, I found the constant detailing of streets (to no discernible purpose) more than a little tedious - it seemed at times to be nothing more than a written walking map of the city. But the nostalgic feel for lost youth, the noir-ish elements, and the fitting the pieces of the four sections together to get a still incomplete picture of Louki, I liked quite a b ...more
Khashayar Mohammadi
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what I read, and I'm not sure why I read it. Maybe the book had a certain cultural significance at the time that is lost for readers of my generation.
 amapola
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lett-francese
"Ho sempre pensato che certi angoli delle vie siano degli amanti e che si venga attirati da loro se si cammina nei paraggi".

I libri di Modiano mi smuovono qualcosa dentro, mi commuovono, mi emozionano.
Qui c’è una Parigi bohemienne, c’è il Caffè Le Condé e al Caffè Le Condé c’è Louki, una donna bellissima (bruna dagli occhi verdi), che se ne sta sempre appartata in un angolo, silenziosa, sfuggente, misteriosa.

"In seguito ho provato ancora la stessa ebbrezza tutte le volte che tagliavo i ponti con
...more
Andy
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I've read by Patrick Modiano, the well-known contemporary French novelist, and I have to say it was disappointing.

I was initially attracted to it by the title, a reference drawn from 60's radical and Situationist theorist Guy Debord's "anti-memoirs."

Loosely, the story revolves around a mysterious young Bohemian woman, Louki, described from several points of view: a young student who frequents the same café; a private-eye hired by her much-older husband to find her; Rola
...more
Ginny_1807
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fr, romanzi
Piccolo gioiello di laconica intensità espressiva e perfetto impianto strutturale.
Mi rammarico di non avere iniziato la lettura di Modiano da questo romanzo, perché mi avrebbe permesso di rapportarmi alle sue tematiche e alla sua poetica in modo meno dispersivo e più consapevole.

Ben lungi dall'essere una lettura di semplice impatto, come potrebbe apparire ad un lettore disattento, la narrazione a quattro voci - e per di più proiettata in due diversi piani temporali - mette in campo questioni co
...more
David Schaafsma
In The Café of Lost Youth is maybe my fifth book by 2014 Nobel winner and Parisian Patrick Modiano, evoking a time in Paris in the fifties, a time of young people in cafes. Ostensibly, as with some others of his work, it is in part about a search for a mysterious woman, a waiflike Jacqueline Delangue, nicknamed Louki (and everyone in Café Conde at that time were given nicknames, in part to keep the air of mystery and secret identity some of them wanted to preserve). Someone in the Conde tried to ...more
Roberto
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francia
Tutto comincia in un normalissimo caffè di Parigi, il Condé, dove una giovane donna attira misteriosamente l’attenzione del narratore. Questa donna, Jacqueline, detta Louki, sarà il filo conduttore delle storie raccontate dai vari personaggi che di capitolo in capitolo si alterneranno nella narrazione. Tutti i personaggi, che sentono in qualche modo la mancanza di qualcosa o qualcuno, raccontano una parte della stessa storia e sono alla ricerca di qualche informazione su di lei.
Louki è una donna
...more
Zaphirenia
Το μόνο που μου έχει μείνει από όταν το είχα διαβάσει το '15 είναι η απορία με τι κριτήρια γίνονται τέλος πάντων αυτές οι απονομές του Νόμπελ. Από όσο γνωρίζω, δεν υπάρχουν σαφώς διατυπωμένα κριτήρια επιλογής, αλλά κάπου διάβασα ότι υπάρχει η γενική αρχή απονομής σε εκείνους που "έχουν προσφέρει περισσότερο στην ανθρωπότητα". Ε, δε νομίζω ότι το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο έχει προσφέρει πολλά στην ανθρωπότητα, είναι ζήτημα εάν έχει προσφέρει κάτι ιδιαίτερο στην ίδια τη λογοτεχνία.

Πολύ έξω από τα γούστα
...more
فهد الفهد
مقهى الشباب الضائع

التجربة الأولى مع النوبلي (باتريك موديانو)، وهي تجربة مخيبة، رغم أن الرواية كتبت بطريقة تعدد الرواة والتي أفضلها إلا أنها كانت ثقيلة جداً.
Stella
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
γεμάτο νοσταλγία και εικόνες. μου φάνηκε υπέροχο, και με βρήκε σε μια ιδιαίτερη στιγμή - όπως πάντα στα βιβλία, το timing, το λεγόμενο, είναι το παν.
Nguyễn Quang Vũ
Trong bản đồ văn học thế giới thì văn học Pháp có một vị trí vô cùng đặc biệt. Không phải đơn giản hay vô tình mà nước Pháp đứng đầu trong danh sách tác giả đoạt giải Nobel văn chương trên thế giới (với hơn 13 tác giả). Và tác giả gần đây nhất chính là Patrick Modiano (Nobel năm 2014).

Mình đọc Modiano vì tò mò. Sách của ông được xuất bản ở Việt Nam từ rất lâu rồi. Cuốn đầu tiên mình đọc là "Phố những cửa hiệu u tối". Đọc xong muốn tông cả cuốn sách vào tường. Không nản chí, mình quyết định theo
...more
Tasos
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Δεύτερο τετράστερο για τον Μοντιανό μετά την περσινή Βίλα της Θλίψης, αρχίζω ήδη να καταλαβαίνω γιατί όλοι γράφουν πως είναι ένας συγγραφέας της μνήμης στα χνάρια του μυθικού συμπατριώτη του, του Προυστ. Εδω αντί για τον μοναδικό/μοναχικό αφηγητή της Βίλας, έχουμε τέσσερα πρόσωπα, εξίσου μοναχικά και μόνα, και η αφήγηση γίνεται εκ των πραγμάτων σπονδυλωτή κι οι αναμνήσεις διαθλώνται κι ανασυντίθενται από πολλάπλές οπτικές γωνίες, με την ίδια ωστόσο ηδονική μελαγχολία για ένα φλανερικό παρελθόν π ...more
Parastoo Ashtian
تا امروز، گاه و بیگاه به ویژه غروبها، هنوز صدایی در خیابان میشنوم که مرا به اسم کوچکم میخواند. صدایی گرفته و رگهدار که گاهی در آخر هجای فرانسوی مانند واژهها کشش بیشتری میدهد و میچرخاند و من فوری میشناسمش: صدا، صدای لوکی است. رو به عقب برمیگردانم. هیچکس... و این حس نه تنها در غروب، بلکه در اوج عصرهای دلانگیز تابستانی که خوب نمیدانید یا حتی فراموش کردهاید در چه سال و زمانی هستید، مدام اتفاق میافتد. همهچیز چون گذشته، از نو سر میگیرد. همان روزها، همان شبها، و همان مکانها و دیدارهایی که در گذشته داشت ...more
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1,084 followers
Patrick Modiano is a French language novelist and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

He is a winner of the Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1972, the Prix Goncourt in 1978 for his novel Rue des boutiques obscures and of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014.

Modiano's parents met in occupied Paris during World War II and began their relationship in semi-clandestinity. Modian
...more
“For me the autumn has never been a sad season. The dead leaves and the increasingly shorter days have never suggested the end of anything, but rather an expectation of the future. In paris, there is an electricity in the air in october evenings at nightfall. Even when it is raining. i do not feel low at that hour of the day, nor do i have the sense of time flying by. i have the impression that everything is possible. the year begins in the month of october.” 9 likes
“Dans cette vie qui vous apparaît quelquefois comme un grand terrain vague sans poteau indicateur, au milieu de toutes les lignes de fuite et les horizons perdus, on aimerait trouver des points de repère, dresser une sorte de cadastre pour n'avoir plus l'impression de naviguer au hasard. Alors, on tisse des liens, on essaye de rendre plus stables des rencontres hasardeuses.” 6 likes
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