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The Seventh Function of Language: A Novel

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,999 ratings  ·  554 reviews
From the prizewinning author of HHhH, “the most insolent novel of the year” (L’Express)

Paris, 1980. The literary critic Roland Barthes dies—struck by a laundry van—after lunch with the presidential candidate François Mitterand. The world of letters mourns a tragic accident. But what if it wasn’t an accident at all? What if Barthes was . . . murdered?

In The Seventh Function
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Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published August 19th 2015)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,999 ratings  ·  554 reviews


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Christophe Jung
Sep 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
On croit un moment que l'on a en mains un roman brillant et hilarant. Mais très vite, l'enquête rocambolesque menée par un jeune prof de fac et un policier beauf s’essouffle. Les mêmes scènes se répètent, les mêmes grosses ficelles se répètent ( prêter des rôles de conspirateurs à des intellectuels célèbres - Umberto Eco, Sollers, BHL, etc...). Le suspens ne prend pas, on sort épuisé à la longue par des chapitres extrêmement verbeux, répétitifs et ennuyeux. La fin ( ou plutôt le dénouement) de c ...more
Gerhard
Jul 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Throwing in the towel at 79%. Starting to go cross-eyed and speed-reading sections. Yes, this is stuffed to the gills with allusions and repartee, and comes across as Literary Theory 101 for Dummies … but it is not a novel. Maybe it is supposed to be an anti-novel. No characterisation, just historic pastiche. And no plot either, just a seemingly endless riff on Barthes, etc. And determined to wallow in so muck-raking, back-stabbing, and general sordidness that the author’s vitriolic bile quickly ...more
Kevin
Oct 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just a bad, really juvenile effort -- sort of "The Da Vinci Code" meets "Le Roland-Barthes sans peine" played for laughs, I suppose, but none of the jokes really landed.
Marilyn Claire
Feb 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Je suis vraiment déçue et même agacée par cette lecture.
D'abord je dois dire que je m'attendais à un livre sur Roland Barthes, ça c'est ma faute, j'aurais dû lire la quatrième de couverture, je pensais que la surprise me ferait plaisir. Ce n'était pas le cas.

Ensuite je dois dire que le style d'écriture de Binet est incroyablement... fade. Certes il y a des effets de style, des tentatives mais tout cela n'est pas suffisant. On sent un écrivain amateur mais genre vraiment. Je ne cherchais pas quel
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Klaudyna
Dec 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-home-library
Not my taste. Not badly written in general but didn't manage to hang on to the end, or even halfway. The general story line might be fine, but is stifled by too much blah blah in between. I assume that someone who is more familiar with all of the names and the political atmosphere and history of 1980s France would enjoy it more and probably finish it.
Jennie
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I’m not ashamed to admit this is way over my head and I don’t have the patience to ride it out. I made it through fifty pages - my apparent breaking point lately - of a bunch of names of unfamiliar (famous?) people, with (I guess?) random intellectuals and communists popping in to rant in the background while the police detective mentally sneers at them, so I suppose this makes fun of the super-intellectual people? I know a few of these specific types so I can understand the eye-rolling, but I’m ...more
Brandon
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
I think I am just not smart enough for this book. At least that is what I got from reading it.

I did enjoy the varying styles of dialogue and narration, but I found much of the book tedious. Felt like work to get through it.
Joanne
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think the premise here is to comment on literary criticism by featuring its major players as characters in a mystery novel. I.e., Roland Barthes' death, with Michel Foucault being questioned - but I don't remember my lit crit well enough to find it amusing, only tedious.
Diny Sijm
May 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
Kreeg goede recensies, maar ik vond er niet veel aan. Een flauw verhaal met veel namedropping en onvertaald Italiaans.
Rebecca
Oct 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I can't believe this is the follow up to the brilliant HHhH. It is boring, not funny, incomprehensible, boring, not particularly well written, absurd plot and BORING
Albert Bellmunt guasch
Ho he intentat 2, 3...4 cops, i res, no me l'he pogut acabar. La premisa inicial em semblava atractiva però la trama evoluciona en un conjunt de disbarats, trobo, sense cap ni peus, que per fan que un sigui d'aquest tipus d'humor, no m'acaben de lligar en un llibre. Llàstima, no està feta la mel per la boca de l'ase, diuen. Mea culpa
Amy
Jan 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish
Emily
Feb 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not understand any of it. I skimmed the book looking for a part where I could get into the book but it never happened.
Stephen Ball
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a book club, and even *having* to keep reading it, I didn't make it very far. This is an absolutely terrible book. The author is much more interested in showing off his obscure knowledge than writing an actual novel. There is a list on pages 51 and 52 which reminded me of "Ready Player One" in that it was... just a list of names, for two pages, which are apparently meant to be entertainment enough on their own. Dan Brown came up a lot when we were discussing it, because it's abou ...more
Ian Carpenter
Feb 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Abandoned. I don't see how anyone not versed in semiotics and the various theorists' dismantling of each other's ideas would enjoy this book. I spent way too many years immersed in and loving that field and still the humour of Foucault saying "forget Barthes" (because Jean Baudrillard wrote "Forget Foucault") is just way too "clever" for me. But the writing and translation are great - definitely going to check out Binet's HHhH.
Gil Katz
Jun 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai acheté ce livre parce que j'avais adore HHhH. Celui là par contre est un de pires que j'ai jamais lu. Vraiment insupportable. Plus jamais de cet auteur, merci.
Thomas Henry
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bert
May 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ik heb het boek niet uitgelezen. Ongeveer na 1/3 gestopt met lezen, ik kon helaas geen stap meer vooruit. Het zal vast een goed boek zijn voor een bepaalde doelgroep, mij kon het helaas niet bekoren. Ik ben simpelweg de draad kwijtgeraakt gedurende het lezen. Ik ben nou wel heel erg nieuwsgierig hoe het afloopt. ;)
Jorge Esquivel
Jan 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Un inicio muy prometedor pero a media novela el argumento se desliza por la alcantarilla y se vuelve una especie de compilación de fantasías bastante truculentas del autor con poca o ninguna verosimilitud. La segunda parte la leí de prisa sólo para saber en que acabaría tanto disparate.
Sophie
Nov 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Je n'ai pas réussi à le finir
Davide
rated it did not like it
Aug 20, 2018
Cailean Morris
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Aug 02, 2018
Emily Barthol
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Apr 10, 2018
Corey
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Mar 18, 2018
Sarah Dosogne
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May 01, 2018
Zamarat
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Aug 05, 2018
Andrea Pelan
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Sep 19, 2017
Kate
rated it did not like it
Mar 27, 2018
Kafkateria
rated it did not like it
Sep 07, 2018
Mar
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Apr 03, 2018
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The Mookse and th...: 2018 MBI Longlist: 7th Function of Language 32 70 May 30, 2018 02:01AM  
ManBookering: The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet 33 82 Apr 12, 2018 11:33AM  
  • One Hundred Twenty-One Days
  • Die, My Love
  • Compass
  • Der fliegende Berg
  • Die Welt voran
  • Belladonna
  • Dijk
  • The Foundling Boy (The Foundling Boy, #1)
  • L'autoportrait bleu
  • Fogság
  • Como la sombra que se va
  • Là où les tigres sont chez eux
  • Les Thibault I: Le Cahier Gris; Le Penitencier; La Belle Saison
  • Intérieur
  • A Balcony in the Forest
  • L'Art français de la guerre
  • Jan Karski
  • Coração Apertado
312 followers
Son of an historian, he was born in Paris, graduated from University of Paris in literature, and taught literature in Parisian suburb and eventually at University. He was awarded the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for his first novel, HHhH.


Laurent Binet est né à Paris. Il a effectué son service militaire en Slovaquie et a partagé son temps entre Paris et Prague pendant plusieurs années. Agrég
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“What would you do if you ruled the world?” The gigolo replied that he would abolish all laws. Barthes said: “Even grammar?” 10 likes
“Glory to the logos, my friends! Long live dialectics! Let the party begin! May the verb be with you!” 4 likes
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