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French Rhapsody

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  553 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letter—thirty-three years too late.

Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar. Back then The Holograms had believed in their cutting-edge sound. However, the music industry remained indiffere
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Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Gallic Books (first published January 12th 2016)
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  553 ratings  ·  115 reviews


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Carolyn
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book caught me a little by surprise. I thought it was going to be about music and nostalgia for the past. Instead it is about a whole lot more including how we chose to lead our lives and how the ripples from these choices affect others.

Alain Proust, a middle aged GP, leading a quiet and staid life, receives a letter lost in the mail for 33 years. The letter is an invitation for the band he played in, the Holograms, to meet with a record company interested in a demo tape they sent in all th
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Liz
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

This was not what I was expecting. The premise is that a 50something doctor receives a letter lost in the post for the past 33 years. It was from a recording agency attempting to set up a meeting concerning his then band. So, he decides to reconnect with his old band mates and the songwriter. Initially, the author seems to be using that premise to do a series of vignettes. The book does chapters on each bandmate and their current spouses, PA and brothers before they ever connect. It's like a ser
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Jennifer
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Merde.

Having loved The President's Hat and The Red Notebook, I looked forward with glee to Antoine Laurain's latest book. "French Rhapsody" has a fabulous set-up: after mistakenly being lost at the post office for 33 years, a letter arrives for our protagonist, Alain. Alain and his friends were once members of an experimental New Wave band called "The Holograms" and the letter is from a major record label expressing interest in recording the band. Of course, since the letter never reached them,
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Bianca
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
'French Rhapsody' is my third Antoine Laurain novel/novella I've read this year.

I love novels where different characters's stories/lives intersect either serendipitously or on purpose. Antoine Laurain is very good at putting together such stories.

In the "French Rhapsody', Alain Massoulier, a general practitioner (doctor) receives a letter 33 years later. The letter could have changed his and his friends' destinies when they were in their early 20s and were trying to make it in the music world a
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Antonomasia
ARC review
[3.5] Light pop fiction in unexpected political commentary shocker.

Having a substantial queue of large/serious books I need[ed] to get read for the Netgalley stats was not a logical reason to lengthen that queue with smaller fluffier books I wasn't too sure about (and I'm still working through the lot months later). But this was a pleasant surprise: not a cheesy chicklit romance like the author's last translated title, The Red Notebook, nor is it, as one might expect from a novel abou
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SARAH
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"خوشبختی همین است،همه انچه که در طول جوانی ات به دنبالش بودی،همان دخترجوانی که در انتهای تمام رویاهایت به او می رسیدی!"
"سی وسه سال بود که اورا ندیده بودم،چقدر گفتن این جمله سخت است.با اینکه هیچ وقت "در واقعیت"او را ندیدم،همیشه در افکارم حضورداشت،هر بار به او فکر میکردم،پس از آن خبری از او می شنیدم.همه این ها خیلی دور است،تصاویر به گونه ای درذهنم تجلی پیدا می کنندگویی عکس هایی هستند که در یک جعبه کفش در انتهای کمد نگهداری میشده اند و یاد آور دوران کودکی یا جوانی مان هستند و تنها کاربردشان این است
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Fran
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, so the proverbial phrase goes. The five member new wave/cold wave 1980's band, the Holograms has dispersed in the absence of record company interest. The four instrumentalists, female singer and producer, while united by music, have taken different life journeys. Their paths will ultimately cross again.

In the 1980's, Alain Massoulier, electric guitarist is the contact person for record company correspondence. Fast forward thirty three years. Alain recei
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Cindy Burnett
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
4.5 stars

Antoine Laurain continues to craft creative, timely stories that will delight his audience while also making his readers think about what is happening in the world around them. While The President’s Hat remains my favorite of his books, French Rhapsody was a fantastic read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Paris physician Alain Massoulier receives what would have been a life changing letter in the mail 33 years after it was sent to him. With a number of other individuals that we slowly get
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Deyanne
Enchanted would be the word I would use to describe The Red Notebook by this author. Charmed would be my one word description for The President's Hat. Divergent would be the word for this book. There was a common point at the beginning of the book in that the main characters were all connected to a musical recording made thirty years earlier. The action starts in the form of a letter (lost) and finally delivered. There is a journey to reunite the members of the band and find a long lost recordin ...more
Susan
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished what I think is going to be my favorite book of all times!

I read Laurain's two other translated books and loved them! I knew I'd enjoy this one too, but there's just something so perfect about French Rhapsody that I am not sure I can articulate my thoughts. The charm, humor, character development and the French culture Laurain has shared with the reader is precious. Perhaps it's just me, my love of Paris and my desire to live there but I felt so much a part of the story - laughi
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Sabine
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Ich mag die Bücher von Antoine Laurain und war daher sehr neugierig, zumal der Klappentext eine charmante Geschichte versprach – leider hat er mich ein wenig in die Irre geführt, und das Buch entwickelte sich ganz anders als erwartet, trotzdem aber hat es mich gut unterhalten können.

Alain ist Arzt und erhält mit 30 Jahren Verspätung den Brief einer Plattenfirma, die ihm und seiner damaligen Band einen Vertrag anbietet – zu den ehemaligen Bandmitgliedern hat er keinen Kontakt mehr, aber was wäre
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Claude
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e, in-french
Un autre très bon roman d'Antoine Laurain. Bien écrit, plein d'humour.
Un peu lent à démarrer, cependant.
Dianah
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Laurain cleverly addresses several topical subjects in his latest novel. Politics, aging, art, music and lifelong dreams dovetail nicely in this story about a missing letter, a missed opportunity, a missing tape, and a missing father. Mining the 80's for material, Laurain creates characters who will keep you interested to the final pages, when you'll be rewarded with a surprise ending. Lovely.
Béatrice
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La rapidité avec laquelle j'ai lu ce livre montre assez combien je l'ai aimé. Sans doute le happy ending y est pour quelque chose, mais tous les personnages sont crédibles, et les principaux, attachants.
Ela
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesejahr-2017
Ich habe bis auf “Liebe mit zwei Unbekannten” bisher jedes ins Deutsche übersetzte Buch von Antoine Laurain gelesen. Mittlerweile bin ich ein regelrechter Fan von des Autors. Was ich jedoch mit der Zeit gelernt habe ist, dass irgendwie jedes Buch von Laurain nicht das ist, was ich erwarte und jedes Buch mich trotzdem überzeugen kann. Allein schon deshalb, weil jedes Buch für sich eine ganze eigene Dynamik an den Tag legt und nicht mit den anderen Büchern des Autors zu vergleichen ist, so wie man ...more
Pia
Even the most staid people can have an amusing and fun life in their youth. Such is the case of Doctor Alain Massoulier, who in his middle age receives a letter that has been lost in the mail for more than 30 years.
Alain was the guitarist for the new wave group "The Holograms", and sent a tape to a record company, never receiving an answer. Now, so many years later, he learns that the company was interested in them. The band broke up as nothing ever happened to encourage them to keep on playing,
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Cathrin
Mehr als 30 Jahre zu spät erreicht den Arzt Alain ein Brief, in welchem seiner Band The Hologrammes die Möglichkeit auf einen Plattenvertrag in Aussicht gestellt wird. Alain erinnert sich seiner Zeiten in der Band und versucht, die übrigen Bandmitglieder und insbesondere ein Tape ihrer Songs ausfindig zu machen.
Die Idee zur Geschichte klang gut und das erste Kapitel gefiel mir erstmal ausgezeichnet. Anders als erwartet folgt die Erzählung dann aber nicht Alain auf seiner Suche, sondern fokussie
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Monica Fumarolo
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-releases
Really more of a 3.5 if I’m honest, but since Goodreads STILL doesn’t allow for half-stars, I’ll round up.

Laurain May be my favorite new-to-me author of 2018. This is the second book of his I’ve read, and while it had less whimsy than the romantic The Red Notebook, this novel similarly explores a lot of feelings and delivers a thoughtful and well-crafted story in a relatively short number of pages. I really liked the structure of this book and how it occasionally abandoned the main plot line to
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Pat
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I loved The President's Hat and The Red Notebook. But French Rhapsody was too contrived, and frankly, boring. The twist at the end made it a bit more interesting, but for most of the book I found the writing and the plot lackluster.
Mo
Jul 15, 2018 marked it as abandoned-ship
I thought for SURE that this author could pull me out of my reading slump... nope.
Maggie Gust
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
French Rhapsody
Antoine Laurain
Translated from French by Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce
Gallic Books, October 2016, 232 pages
General Adult Fiction
Collier County Public Library: No

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” - Mason Cooley

It has been a long while since I laughed out loud so many times while reading a book. French Rhapsody is the title that had my endorphins dancing a jig.

A middle-aged married Parisian doctor who has been disillusioned about his profession and
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Ashley Brown
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading 'French Rhapsody' isn't the worst mistake I've ever made.

Although, if I'm being honest, had I have truly known what the novel was about I don't think I'd have ordered it and read it quite so eagerly as I did.

It's not that it's a bad book...it's just that I well and truly judged this book by its cover and its blurb - and it wasn't what I was expecting. Which seems to ring true with a few other reviews that I've seen.

I was expecting it to be the story of a middleaged doctor who receives a
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Janni_B
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure exactly why, but I loved this book. It's an effortless read and very entertaining.

Alain Massoulier is a middle-aged doctor who leads a comfortable, if perhaps predictable, life in Paris.

Out of the blue he receives a potentially life-changing letter that had been posted 33 years earlier and had languished in the French postal system all these years. In 1983 he had been a member of a band The Holograms and the letter was from Polydor offering them a recording contract – 33 years too
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Rosemarie
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! It was actually refreshing reading a French novel that didn't seem like Amelie-- making France a storybook dream -- but rather truer to life, with its own social political economic problems and real people who inhabit it. I love France but I laughed out loud at the bit where Frederic tells Alain "why does anyone live here? Everyone is so unhappy!"
Lisa Bentley
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
The best way to describe Antoine Laurain’s latest novel – French Rhapsody – is that it is a brilliant “pay off” story. It is clever and quirky and was a delight to read.

The story opens with Alain Massoulier receiving a letter that would have changed the course of his life had he received it on time. Unfortunately, he received it 33 years too late. This opens up a period of searching in Alain’s life to reconnect with the people of his youth. This comes with strange and wonderful consequences.

What
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Trevor
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Another well written, easy to read book from Antoine Laurain. Having said that though, the story was not what I expected, and although I enjoyed it, I'm slightly disappointed that I did not get what I had expected. This was a well written, slightly unbelievable tale of how a member of an unsuccessful pop group became President of France - though at present lots of things that we never thought possible are becoming reality, and perhaps this will too one day.

I was given a copy of this book by the
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Margaret McCulloch-Keeble
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I loved this from start to le fin. Superb! The hunt for a long lost demo tape leads Alain to meet up with an eclectic mix of characters. There is humour and humanity, wistfulness and whimsy throughout. Faultless. I'm especially pleased as it so very recent, events from as late as April this year are referenced within the pages and yet my library had a copy! Vive les bibliotheques!
Emma
VERDICT: Quirky and nostalgic, hilarious and satirical. A portrait of France as you may not know it!

my full review is here:
https://wordsandpeace.com/2016/10/05/...
Tinstamp
Laut Klappentext stellt sich Antoine Laurain in seinem neuen Roman die Frage, wie das Leben der ehemaligen Bandmitglieder der alternativen Achziger New Waveband "Les Hologrammes" gelaufen wäre, wenn die Post die Zusage der Plattenfirma rechtzeitig und nicht nach 33 Jahren zugestellt hätte. Diese kurze Zusammenfassung fand ich sehr interessant, vor allem weil ich selbst in den Achziger Jahren meine Jugend verbracht und die Musik dieser Epoche liebe. Der Roman entwickelt sich jedoch in eine gänzli ...more
Ulrike Günkel-Kohl
Alain, Stanislas, Sebastien, Frederic, Pierre, JBM und Berangere hatten große Träume im Paris der 80er Jahre! Sie wollten mit ihrer Band [i]Hologrammes[/i] berühmt werden und die Konzertsäle auf der ganzen Welt erobern. Doch es kam anders.
Nachdem auf ihre Bewerbung bei einer großen Plattenfirma nie eine Antwort kam, zerfielen ihre Träume langsam zu Staub und sie gingen auseinander.
Den meisten von ihnen begegnen wir mehr als dreißig Jahre später wieder, als sich nämlich etwas Unerhörtes ereignet:
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Antoine Laurain was born in Paris and is a journalist, antiques collector and the author of five novels. The President’s Hat, a charming fable set in the Mitterrand years, was awarded the Prix Landerneau Découvertes and the Prix Relay in 2012 and is published in English by Gallic. It was a Waterstones Book Club book and ABA Indies Introduce pick in 2013. Antoine was chosen to represent France at E ...more