Slave Old Man
From one of the most innovative and subversive novelists writing in French, a "writer of exceptional and original gifts" (The New York Times), whose Texaco won the Prix Goncourt and has been translated into fourteen languages, Patrick Chamoiseau's The Old Slave is a gripping, profoundly unsettling story of an elderly slave's daring escape into the wild from a plantation in...more
Translated from French, this is the tale of an elderly slave's escape through the lush rain forest on Martinique. The old man is hunted by the Master and his hound. Will he survive? Will he evade the hound that is relentless in its pursuit of the man?
This book is heavy on metaphors and is told through an almost stream of consciousness. I will admit, I am not a fan of stream of consciousness story telling. So, parts of this just didn't ...more
And with that this short novel becomes a fever dream, a magical and horror filled journey into a primeval place, the Great Woods. The writing is not linear in the same way ...more
Establishing this history and scene, the old man attempts ...more
It’s a slim tale whose size belies its big message, an old man—considered “the most docile among the docile” of the slaves, slips from a Martinique plantation with the plantation owner’s savage mastiff in close pursuit. The forest becomes almost mythical: an “old man slave running through the Great Woods, not toward freedom: ...more
For me, style and language are the powers that drive this story of a runaway slave pursued through the forest by his 'Master' and a vicious ‘monster’ mastiff. The writing is original, dazzling, dream-like and very poetic. It is prose that enforces the folktale quality of the book, propels the reader forward and heightens the experience of the chase through a dense and dangerous ...more
But this is anything but a straightforward story. One could argue it is not really a story at all but a thrilling piece of ...more
This book blew me away. I am not sure I have ever read a book with such amazing use of vivid and immersive language and imagery as this and the fact that it is translated makes that even more of an accomplishment. What a deserving winner of the Best Translated Book Award. Highly recommended.
Slave Old Man follows an escaped slave as he is chased through the jungles of Martinique by a devilish hound and his master. As the old man runs deeper into the forest, ...more
I had some initial trouble getting into it: it’s definitely poetry as prose. The language and word choice (so many alliterations!) was so lush it took me time to accilmiate. I think some of that was also from the French - English translation: sentence structure was very French. But with ...more
Review of the English translation hardcover (2018) of the French/Creole original L'Esclave vieil homme et le molosse (The Slave Old Man and the Mastiff) (1999)
This story of an escape into the bush is an immersive tale that is by turns poetic and haunting with a conclusion that does somewhat enter into magic realism and meta-fiction. What bumps it into a 5 rating are the thorough backgrounds that are provided by translator Linda Coverdale. These ...more
An elderly, docile slave leaves his body and escapes his condition, and is then hunted through the forest by his master and a mastiff. Both the old man and the dog take on an almost supernatural form.
There are two ways to interpret this story. A modern rational explanation would suggest that the old man dies and the master and mastiff are pursuing the idea of freedom and the legends growing up around the old ...more
At one stage (and in the middle of a paragraph) as the slave moves further into the jungle the narration changes from "he" to "I". The main part of the story is the battle of the old man with the jungle, the mastiff with the jungle and the old man with the jungle.
It's a deviously clever short tale on ...more
How happy I was to find out this book is amazing. I love language and how it is used, and this book is a perfect example of language as artistic form. Every word is to be tasted and savoured and remembered. So ...more
|Goodreads Librari...: Could you please help me fix a few things for this book?||3||19||Apr 14, 2018 01:23AM|
Chamoiseau was born on December 3, 1953 in Fort-de-France, Martinique, where he currently resides. After he studied law in Paris he returned to Martinique inspired by Édouard Glissant to take a close interest in Creole culture. Chamoiseau is the author of a historical work on the Antilles under the ...more