Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Behave in a Crowd” as Want to Read:
How to Behave in a Crowd
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Behave in a Crowd

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,365 ratings  ·  273 reviews
Isidore Mazal is eleven years old, the youngest of six siblings living in a small French town. He doesn't quite fit in. Berenice, Aurore, and Leonard are on track to have doctorates by age twenty-four. Jeremie performs with a symphony, and Simone, older than Isidore by eighteen months, expects a great career as a novelist. She's already put Isidore to work on her biography ...more
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Tim Duggan Books (first published August 1st 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Behave in a Crowd, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tracey Ayres No. I think it is very much an adult book. A very good adult book in fact. I loved it.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,365 ratings  ·  273 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought this book was wonderful! It has mixed reviews but I don't really care about that, I only care about what I think.

The first couple of paragraphs from the book had me choosing this one as my next blog book.

Excerpt

There was a darker brown stain on our brown suede couch. If I swept it one way with the palm of my hand, it almost blended in. I could squint and forget it was even there, but then a swipe in the other direction, and the stain reappeared, darker than I remembered, like I'd ju
...more
Angela M
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is described as a dark comedy and while there are some funny moments, I found it more sad than comical. The Mazal family is a quirky family like none I've ever known. I have to admit at first I didn't like any of the six children in the family except Isidore (Dory), the youngest and our narrator. I wasn't sure I wanted to continue , but I was so taken with this 11 year old boy who takes us through the next few years of the lives of this odd family who live in a small French town. An odd bun ...more
Larry H
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Have you ever gone to see a movie or a comedian that everyone says is really funny, but you sit there and wonder when it will get funny?

I think I have a good sense of humor; those who know me know that I'm really very sarcastic (I often say that sarcasm is my superpower) and I love a good joke, yet for some weird reason movies and books that are supposed to be hysterically or even darkly funny often miss their target with me. In fact, when I see books lauded as funny, I often steer clear of them
...more
Carol
Hmmmmm.....Took me awhile to get into the character-driven....matter-of-fact writing style of this novel. It's so different....with little to no plot, and (for me) leaned toward more of a character study.

Anyway....The Mazel family are all highly intelligent....but rather cold....distant....loners for the most part who spend much of their time indoors studying. Even when tragedy strikes, the announcement is monotone....and the immediate reaction (by family members) a non-event, but there is grief

...more
Sam
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Short pitch to see if you'd like How to Behave in a Crowd: meet the Mazals, kind of like the French version of "The Royal Tenenbaums", a family comprised of a somewhat absent father and solid, grounded mother to a cadre of snarky, sharp, smart, somewhat asocial savant children. We're exposed to the Mazals through our narrator, Izidore but more commonly known as Dory, youngest son of this unique tribe, less intelligent and accomplished than his older siblings but also deeply emotional, empathetic ...more
Kathleen
This book was addictive. I wasn't sure where it was going, but I just didn't want to stop reading. The story is told through the eyes of Isidore, the youngest of the six Mazal children and seemingly the least remarkable, academically speaking anyway, as all of his siblings are already working on advanced degrees when most people their age are finishing high school. They are on a whole other plane on thinking from the 11-year old... and from pretty much everyone except one another.

It doesn't tak
...more
Roger Brunyate
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bildungsroman
The Normal One

Isidore Mazal (generally called Dory although he prefers Izzie) is the youngest child in a French family of six. His three eldest siblings all complete PhD's in the course of the novel: Berenice is an historian, Aurore a classicist, Leonard a sociologist. Jeremie, still in college, is a musician. Simone, the only one close to his age (in his early teens), fanatically studies literature. And Izzie? Though clearly bright—his narrative voice is consistently engaging—he is no academic
...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
“Because what goes on in your head when you step out of the present is always richer and more satisfying than what you come back to when you’re done. That’s the sad part. That’s what’s at the core of melancholy, not the things you actually imagine. The present is disappointing in a way you can’t act upon while it’s happening. But once you’ve made a memory of something, you can throw away the meaningless parts and write better versions of it.”

I
...more
HajarRead
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ce livre m’a fait penser à « Quand j’avais cinq ans je m’ai tué » d’Howard Buten, à « The perks of being a wallflower » de Stephen Chbosky et à « Catcher in the Rye » de J. D. Salinger, trois romans au narrateur jeune avec une voix presque enfantine, sensible, intelligente et triste.
Book Riot Community
A moving story about a tragedy in a family and the young boy who thinks he can heal them. Isidore is the youngest of six successful siblings. Living in their shadows, he hasn’t received a lot of credit for also being his own person with his own skills and interests. But when a tragedy happens, Isidore feels he has the unique skills to help his family get through it – that’s if he decides he wants to help. It’s a lovely story about a boy learning that the adults don’t always know what is best, ei ...more
Gerard Villegas
I picked up a galley copy of this at work and thought the premise was very interesting. How to Behave in a Crowd is a mixture of a quirky dark comedy combined with the dramatic elements of a dysfunction family story. Basically it is Augusten Burroughs' memoir Running with Scissors thrown with the film The Royal Tenenbaums.

In this novel, we meet the French family The Mazals, a six sibling unit with a neurotic mother and a distant father who range in age from adult graduate students to the younges
...more
Kate Olson
Quirky, French, intellectual and like no other story I have read in recent memory.

Thanks to Crown Publishing for providing me with a free finished copy of this book for review purposes - all opinions are my own.

NOTE: I'm not providing a summary - Goodreads did a great job of that!

You know how sometimes you just fall into a book and mark almost every single page and feel like this book was written FOR you? That's how I felt with this one. I had zero expectations going into it and was pleasant
...more
Lucille
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Read FRANNY & ZOOEY instead.
Shelves: lit
What Salinger said. For real.
Tonstant Weader
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Isidore Mazal is the youngest of six children. He’s eleven and unlike his five older siblings, he is not going to be skipping four or five years of high school or getting his doctorate before he’s twenty-four. He is a moth in a family of intellectual butterflies.In a family that is all about intelligence, Izzy feels maladept. His siblings are even better at watching television than he, predicting the endings and analyzing them through the framework of Aristotle’s Poetics.

He does not have a plan
...more
Rachel León
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, read-in-2017
(4 stars, rounded up because the ending is perfect and English isn't the author's first language so deserves props there, too.)

I really enjoyed this novel and am excited to get the chance to interview the author. This novel is smart, funny, sad, and tender. There's not a lot to the plot, but the characters are great and everything is pulled together in a really admirable way. I found it brilliant.

Ruth
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Grata sorpresa. Un buen ejemplo de aquello de que lo bueno, si breve, dos veces buenos. Una comedia inteligente con mucho fondo. Toca temas bastante interesantes como el duelo, la pérdida, la anorexia o el bullying. Una lectura amena en una edición chulísima.
Kathleen
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
"'Fear of death is the only thing that doesn't abandon you as you age,' Daphne insisted, humidifying her lips with her tongue every five seconds or so. 'On the contrary, I would say. Death gets scarier every day. I'm so much more diminished now than even last year...this physical degradation...it's all a preview, you know? And the movie doesn't look good!"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...

My Q&A with Bordas for the Chicago Tribune:

Camille Bordas' first two novels, "Les treize desserts
...more
Edwin Howard
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
HOW TO BEHAVE IN A CROWD by Camille Bordas is a first person narrative told by Isidore Mazal, an eleven year old boy surrounded his overachieving older siblings, who is constantly misunderstood by those around him, yet really he is making the most sense of anyone.
The author took special care to create and describe the characters in HOW TO BEHAVE IN A CROWD and one of the joys of the book is finding out that there is more to every character than appears on the surface. Isidore sibling's are port
...more
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
Thank you NETGALLEY!! This is a book about a family; told through the perspective of a young teenage boy named Isodor who has like 4 or 5 older siblings and really it's just his account of his life and how he sees his older sisters and brothers. They're all pretty smart. They live in France and the parents are not really in the story but it's important when the father dies (literally he's called The Father) and how their life changes in the 2 years after.
There's no plot, really. It's just the w
...more
Andy Weston
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely enjoyable and humorous novel set in rural France about childhood and adolescence, and more specifically a family dealing with grief.

Isidore, who narrates, is just short of his 12th birthday when the novel begins. His two brothers and two sisters are older. Bordas’s writing is at a strength when writing about the children, there are so many perfectly decent coming of age stories that don’t manage to deal with adolescence in such a convincing way.

There is a refreshing honest
...more
Marla
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an odd little book but not in a bad way. The Mazal family is very blunt in the way they speak to each other and to other people. I found it refreshing. The book is the POV of Isidore or Dory and how he interacts with everyone. I'm still not sure I get the title but that's okay. Isidore is 12-14 in the book. It's slow paced and not really a specific plot, just going along in his life. It was kind of refreshing. There were times I laughed out loud.

Laura
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How To Behave In A Crowd reads like an intellectualist's guide to growing up. Written from the point of view of the youngest child, the Mazal family is seen through the eyes of Isidore (Izzie), the least brilliant of his siblings, aged 11 at the start of the story. Over four years we follow the Mazal family's growth, or lack thereof, following the death of "the father", a man who is seen very little by the reader and his wife and family due to his continuous travel schedule.
Bordas explores the
...more
Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
3.5/5
This book sounded pretentious. And I know one of the characters in this book (Simone) would hate me saying this because I'm not using the word, pretentious, correctly. What I meant is that this book is kind of "showy." The author's diction/writing is as beautiful as the cover of the book. However, at some point in your reading, you ask yourself how an 11 year old boy's voice would sound so eloquent, and how he could also ask the right questions in the perfect moment. The questions a child a
...more
Mary Lins
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
"How to Behave in a Crowd", by Camille Bordas, thoroughly delighted me. From the first page I fell in love with our first-person narrator, Isidore (called Dory but would prefer Izzie) Mazal, eleven and a half years old, the youngest of 6 very unusual and highly intelligent children. It wasn't long before I likewise fell in love with his highly-intelligent and uniquely-quirky siblings; Berenice, Aurore, Jeremie, Leonard, and Simone. (They are French, hence the names; the novel is in English but t ...more
Danielle Mootz
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Isidore is watching and observing everyone else's life and at some point after his father's death decides to start living his life, even if he hadn't noticed yet. in a family full of genius it's not easy to be "normal" but Dory manages to ground everyone around him with the simplicity in life.
Kate
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like character-driven books more than plot-driven books, this one may appeal to you. I really loved seeing the young narrator, Isidore, grow through the course of the book, and I thought the ending was one of the most satisfying endings to a character-driven book I've read. It's also a perfect book to read if you've just finished a PhD and now are questioning what you're supposed to do next. I've never related to the angst of a supporting character as much as I did when Isidore's oldest s ...more
Melanie
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Subtly gets at you. Extremely intelligent. Macabre humor. 10/10. Would recommend.
Amaia
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro con una sensibilidad especial que hay que saber entender y tener predisposición para conmoverse. Combina la ironía y le humor, escribiendo desde la perspectiva de un adolescente; con el drama. Por ello, es una novela que ha recibido buenas críticas.
Sandy
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a story of a tight-knit family living in France told through the eyes of the youngest son, Isidore. The five older siblings bury themselves in their intellect; skipping grades in school, writing PhDs, etc. Dory, on the other hand, has a more sensitive soul. He is more interested in learning of his surroundings and the people in it. He is a people-pleaser without sacrificing his own happiness.

I am completely fascinated by Dory. I love his “matter of fact” personality. There is no judgemen
...more
Kellinova
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in a Giveaway.

"How to Behave in a Crowd" spoke to me on a spiritual level. Although I'm the oldest and I don't have a ton of siblings, I still found myself identifying with Izzie's journey to understand who he is and where he fits in his crowds. Bordas uses Izzie's story to touch on philosophical ideas like what it means to live a fulfilled life and different aspects of the process of death and grief. I don't think it's written with the typical American sense of hu
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Could you please fix the page number? 3 16 Feb 28, 2019 02:48AM  
  • Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community
  • Walking on the Ceiling
  • Freedom Ride
  • Calamity at Chancellorsville
  • Edenwitch (Parts 1 - 3)
  • Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins
  • Äldreomsorgen i övre Kågedalen
  • Do the Windows Open?
  • La comparsa
  • The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir
  • Beethoven's Symphonies: An Artistic Vision
  • The Universe Is a Very Big Place
  • Little Infamies: Stories
  • Best Behavior
  • Viviane Elisabeth Fauville
  • Silent Waters
  • Les Petites Reines
  • Husband and Wife
55 followers
Camille Bordas est née à Lyon, en 1987. Elle a passé son enfance au Mexique et vit maintenant à Paris. Elle est étudiante en anthropologie.
En 2009, elle a été remarquée par la critique avec la parution de son premier roman, Les treize desserts, pour lequel elle a reçu la Bourse Thyde Monnier de la SGDL et le Prix du Livre du département du Rhône.
“So the problem with any dictatorship,” I said, following Simone’s argument, “is never really the dictator himself but the people who agree with him.” “Exactly,” Simone said. “There could potentially be a good dictatorship—I don’t see why the public could only be sheep for horrible leaders—but the problem is that good people never want to be dictators.” “That’s a bummer,” I said.” 6 likes
“The father won't be coming back tonight," my mother said one evening as she and I were waiting for the others. I thought she meant he was dead, but he'd only been kept abroad by a conference and had missed the connecting flight home.” 0 likes
More quotes…