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Souvenirs dormants

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  831 ratings  ·  114 reviews
"“Vous en avez de la mémoire…” Oui, beaucoup… Mais j’ai aussi la mémoire de détails de ma vie, de personnes que je me suis efforcé d’oublier. Je croyais y être parvenu et sans que je m’y attende, après des dizaines d’années, ils remontent à la surface, comme des noyés, au détour d’une rue, à certaines heures de la journée."
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published October 26th 2017 by Editions Gallimard (first published 2017)
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Darian You don't win a Nobel Prize for Literature for one particular book. It's not like a Pulitzer or Booker prize. You win it for a career of writing excep…moreYou don't win a Nobel Prize for Literature for one particular book. It's not like a Pulitzer or Booker prize. You win it for a career of writing exceptional literary works, whether they be novels, short stories, poems, or even lyrics.(less)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Modiano aficionados
Shelves: 2018, reviewed, france
Nocturnal shadow hunting in the City of Light

There's someone I want to forget tonight
Don't you want to forget someone too?
I left him, and I can leave you too

(The Triffids, Tender is the Night (The Long Fidelity)

Anyone who has read some of the more recent novels by Patrick Modiano, will feel on at least vaguely familiar territory with Patrick Modiano’s latest novel, Souvenirs Dormants, of which the English translation will be published in October 2018 as Sleep of Memory.

Jean D., the narrator, a
Ankit Garg
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Modiano read, and I am proud to say I can't get enough of him. Not just because he is a Nobel winner and is supposed to be good, but because the way he presents his thoughts that leaves an everlasting impact on the reader.

In this book, he recalls incidents from his life pertaining to the women he was involved with in one way or the other. He jumps back-and-forth in time to link events and thoughts, drawing conclusions along the way. And those conclusive quotes are a must read, b
Roger Brunyate
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Friederike Knabe
Recommended to Roger by: Ilse
The Eternal Return of the Same
On one of those stalls by the Seine, the title of a book caught my attention: The Time of Encounters. It was a period of strange encouters for me also, that time in the distant past….*
The flavor is as unmistakable as the whiff of Gitanes. Who but Patrick Modiano would start a book that way, responding to a trivial trigger, delving deeply into a half-remembered past? Let's go a little farther on the same page:
[…] I could start by recalling Sunday evenings. They were
Ever since Modiano won the Nobel prize in 2014 I wanted to read one of his novels, hence I took the chance of reading this very short one.

If I were to describe it in one word that would be ‘melancholic’. His memoirs - more or less accurate - as a young man, between age of seventeen and around twenty, are built from bits and pieces, disparate recollections of mundane events, all related to the women who were part of his life back then.

Some young, some not so, single, married, mysterious or not, t
John Hatley
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, Modiano's writing can lull the reader into a dream-like trance as relaxing as sleep. This book is both a mystery and the narrator's effort to remember. I really enjoy his style.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
As an entry-level book into Modiano's oeuvre, this seems ideal to me, the author writes perfectly in line with his 20 previous books: about a mysterious older person looking back on episodes from his personal past of more than 50 years ago, when he walked through nocturnal Paris, visiting dark, grubby cafes, had short encounters with equally mysterious women who were all involved in something vague, sometimes criminal-related, and whom he usually meeted briefly years later, without anything more ...more
This is the authors first novel since he won the Nobel prize (no pressure). I believe I've only read one other work of his. He's a very interesting writer.

Overall this novel is about memories filled with disappearances and escapes, which works because there is a sense that escaping memories and disappearing into them is what we all do. It's interesting what stays with us and what doesn't and what can surface out of nowhere sometimes. Memories are a strange beast.

There were more than a few poign
Roman Clodia
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thousands and thousands of doubles of yourself follow the thousands of paths that you didn't take at various crossroads in your life, because you thought there was but a single one

Melancholic and fragmentary, Modiano returns to Proust's obsession with memories and the past, and reworks it at the same time, reflecting contemporary concerns that left Proust himself, writing at the start of the C20th, untouched.

This novella is anything but slight, belying its sparse page count: each page is ha
Kasa Cotugno
Patrick Modiano claims he is writing the same novel over and over again, and I for one can't get enough. This particular installment purports to have elements gleaned from his own experience, but given details, it isn't possible to separate fact from dream. The past forever present. Did they or didn't they, or was it all dream or imagination. Sliding between 1965 to 2017 to 1985. The narrative is slippery and elusive.

But no one presents Paris as well as he does with his encyclopedic familiarity
Oct 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of glowing reviews around, but I simply didn’t see the point of this book. An old man looks back and reflects on the relationships he had with a motley collection of women in his younger days. It’s all very fragmentary and inconsequential and why these relationships are of any interest to anyone other than the author eluded me. It’s a narcissistic and self-referential book, a meandering meditation on memory, and I found it extremely tedious.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Actual rating: 3.50
Ruben Vermeeren
This was my first book by Modiano, but perhaps not the best one to start with. It was so fragmentary that it soon became clear that I as a reader was probably expected to fill in the blanks, or otherwise contemplate how our memory works. But that didn't really happen (too little imagination or patience on my side perhaps) and so I was quite happy that after two hours I had finished the book.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Five o'clock on a winter evening, as darkness was falling and lights were already appearing in the windows. I felt as if I'd gone back into the past by a phenomenon we could call eternal return; or else it simply meant that, for me, time had stopped at a given period of my life," writes the Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick Modiano in his new novel Sleep of Memory.

Memory haunts and Modiano's is of an imagined Paris. One that he returns to often and rewrites through the lens of the past and th
Katya Kazbek
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
I’ve never read a proper Modiano book before, only some excerpts in French classes. And I understand that it’s not exactly a typical book of his. But I did thoroughly like it! Such a lovely collection of brief memories spread throughout the body of the city. Now I want to read some of his more typical work.
I’ve read Annie Ernaux, Yasmina Reza and Modiano in the last few months, after a rather extensive period of time without Francophone literature, and I can’t shake the feeling that I prefer it
Gabriella Walfridson
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short, self-reflecting piece, in a VERY Modianoesque way. Names, places, and women move in and out of his life; "sleeping memories", meetings, and books he once read.. Paris and its suburbs. A way to understand how Modiano thinks, and writes. A bagatelle among his oeuvres, but a wonderful one. I always become very melancholic when I've finished a novel by Modiano, a sense of loss.. Thank god there are quite a few I can return to and reread.
Marcus Hobson
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read and enjoyed ‘In the Café of Lost Youth’, I was looking for something similar, where the story would capture and draw me in, where characters would gradually emerge into a clearer light.
But that didn’t quite happen. I wasn’t so caught up by the story – it simply didn’t have the same depth that I was hoping for. The moments of brilliance were too illusive.
As I looked through some of the quotes that I had highlighted, one of them emerged as a perfect summary of the whole book:
“I’m tryin
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If we could relive something we’d already experienced, in the same time, the same place, and the same circumstances, but live it much better than the first time, without the mistakes, hitches, idle moments, it would be like making a clean copy of a heavily revised manuscript...”

Soothing, introspective sketches half-remembered from a life in Paris. Words and moments to be savoured slowly. I was pleasantly surprised - would read more of Modiano...
Victor Carson
The author has an interesting style but lacks substance. The stories have interesting settings but are incomplete and almost meaningless. They take the form of a writer's notes for a novel - that he never used in a novel.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Interest in memory, Modiano, reflective stories
Recommended to Lily by: Nobel Prize author, recent publication in English
To be old, to remember the details of earlier years, to not necessarily put the jig saw puzzle pieces together into a picture any more or any less than one did at the time.


More like a poem than a novelette?
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first work of Patrick Modiano that I have read and it may well be a suitable introduction for the initiated like myself for although short in length it contains the key elements found in his work of exploring the traces of the past to determine evidence of existence. We have here someone in his seventies looking back to his youth at important events through the vagueness of an incomplete memory trying to determine the actuality and significance of the events which predominately invol ...more
Carole Knoles
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will be interested in reading the opinions of others on “Sleep Of Memory”. I found my mind wandering off on remembering people who over the years have intersected my life experience. Sometimes they have come for the short haul and sometimes times for the long haul. Sometimes their impact has been good and sometimes ill. I do not know what was in the author’s mind. Was this a novella or an exercise in essay. I do think that an ideal reader of this work comes to it from the advantage of some age ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This very brief volume – barely more than 100 pages – will obviously enchant the fans of Modiano who have already read, if not all, many of his previous books. I’m not sure, on the other hand, that readers who are not familiar with the atmospheric, eerie, and dreamy world he inhabits, and that all of his novels explore one way or another, will be able to appreciate Souvenirs dormants (Sleeping Memories), a book that feels somehow as slippery as the memories the title is referring to. But what a ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Extraordinary in its exploration of memory. Beautifully written. I wanted this book to continue and felt a sense of loss when I reached the last page.
Michael Rieman
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This haunting novel shows the same ability to create a sense of mystery that those who enjoy Modiano's work will find familiar. Here, the narrator, who may or may not be the author, looks back many years upon encounters he had with rather enigmatic characters in Paris as much as fifty years ago. There are suggestions of an isolated, possibly unhappy childhood and youth ("Last year, at the bottom of a large envelope, among expired blue passports and report cards from a children's home, and a boar ...more
Michael McGrinder
I received this book as a gift  and so had no real expectations, save what the blurb told me.

The style brings to mind the nouvelle roman works of Alain Robbe-Grillet and Natalie Sarraute, where little to nothing transpires, leaving the reader to determine what has happened. I never found it worth the trouble.

Patrick Modiano, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2014, here jots down elusive memories from the mid-sixties of uninteresting, or vaguely defined, people he (as nameless narrator) briefly
Caterina Pierre
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have said this before but I am convinced that if we read Patrick Modiano’s books in a particular order we would have a complete picture of a life lived in Paris after the Second World War; maybe it would be his own life, or maybe it would be a composite of his life with others that he knew and embodied. This is a quick read and covers his brief relationships with a variety of women he met in his youth: a woman he is accompanying to morning coffee, walks to her job, and visits to an occultist; ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modiano really covers it all with his latest novella. The narrator, just slightly older than I am, remembers his youth and how memories slip, slide, fragment and disappear. He explores again the mysterious, criminal past of his absent father without ever understanding the man; the intricate streets and neighborhoods of Paris; and the interests, passions and friends of his teen years and early 20s. A scrap of travel directions left in a book, a book at a used-book shop--all take him back to those ...more
Danita L
Even Modiano says that for over 45 years he is always writing the same book, but his intricate plot lines and the sheer stylistic beauty of his classic French prose are more than enough to keep bringing me back. A narrator in a Modiano novel either has a memory of an event or he has no memory of an event. So he uses the specific naming of Paris streets and addresses as reference points. Buildings and streets bring back memories and the more precise the setting the better it suits the imagination ...more
Jordan Chapman
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
The first book Modiano published after winning the Nobel, this book treads similar ground as his previous work - “I always have the impression that I write the same book” - but this short novel surprised me. It is reminiscent of his earlier books, but in many ways more illusory, elusive, ephemeral. He returns to his common themes, common characters, and common setting with a weariness not present in earlier works. The prose shines while he continues to examine questions about memory and about th ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently described The Rings of Saturn as dreamy. Well, if that was dreamy, then this was straight up ethereal. Ghostly. There was something exquisitely lulling about it. I was a purring cat enjoying the caressing hand of the prose. The vague person the hand belonged to, aka the narrator of the story, was speaking up above, telling me interesting things, sharing remembrances of strange, brief encounters in his past. But it was mostly the hand that was giving me pleasure, stroking me with a war ...more
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Patrick Modiano is a French-language author and playwright and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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

Modiano's parents met in occupied Paris during World War II and began a clandestine relationship. Modiano's childhood took place in a unique atmospher

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