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Lie With Me

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  8,767 ratings  ·  1,496 reviews
The award-winning, internationally bestselling novel about a love affair between two teenage boys in a provincial high school in 1984 France, brilliantly translated by acclaimed writer and actress Molly Ringwald.

While passing through the village where he grew up, the narrator, Philippe, chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love, Thomas. W
...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Scribner (first published January 5th 2017)
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John David Obviously translators have to sometimes choose new titles for books because the literal translations don't make sense. But in this instance the Englis…moreObviously translators have to sometimes choose new titles for books because the literal translations don't make sense. But in this instance the English translation, "Stop With Your Lies", would've worked just fine. However, "Lie With Me" is actually much cleverer because of the double entendre contained in the English verb "lie" (which doesn't exist in French) as the story is about two young men who have a clandestine sexual relationship. I'm surprised Ms. Ringwald didn't also mention this explanation in the interview linked below. Perhaps she felt it would be too plot-revealing although the summary on the book jacket says as much. (less)
Jeffrey Powanda It's called autofiction, short for autobiographical fiction, or fictional memoir. It's a genre very popular in France.…moreIt's called autofiction, short for autobiographical fiction, or fictional memoir. It's a genre very popular in France.(less)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  8,767 ratings  ·  1,496 reviews


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Larry H
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"This feeling of love, it transports me, it makes me happy. But it also consumes me and makes me miserable, the way all impossible loves are miserable."

Philippe is a famous writer being interviewed at a hotel in Bordeaux when he sees a handsome man walk by. The man jars Philippe's memory, reminding him of his first love, when he was in his last year of high school in 1984.

Philippe is the studious one, shy yet fiercely intelligent. He has already been marked by his peers as "different"; he bears
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Paromjit
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unforgettable, exquisite and powerful award winning French novel by Philippe Besson, translated by the famous actress, Molly Ringwald, that reads and feels like the most intimate of memoirs. For such a short novel, it is achingly beautiful, lyrical, and intensely heartbreaking, a portrayal of the emotional, heady feelings of first love. A fragile, forbidden, repressed covert gay relationship set in the 1980s in a rural small town in France. Philippe is having a tough time in high school for b ...more
Judith
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Judith by: Shile
Shelves: m-m, arc-netgalley
This passion that can’t be talked about, that has to be concealed, gives way to the terrible question: if it isn’t talked about, how can one know that it really exists? One day, when it’s over, when it finally comes to an end, no one will be able to attest to what took place.










Is this a memoir or just fiction? Surely it's a memoir and if it is it makes this even more of a compelling read.I was a mess after I finished this.It was always going to be obvious the outcome for Thomas and Phi
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Sahil Javed
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf, lgbtq
Lie With Me is a tender, beautiful novel, written by French author Philippe Besson and translated by Molly Ringwald, that follows the relationship that develops between two teenage boys in 1984 France.
“The image doesn’t fit: my thick glasses, my stretched-out blue Nordic sweater, the student head slaps, the too-good grades, the feminine gestures. Why me?

He says: Because you are not like all the others, because I don’t see anyone but you and you don’t even realize it. He adds this phrase
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Shile
5 stars Audiobook

4 stars for the story

-This is the story of Philippe and Thomas, two boys who fall in love while attending high school in France in the 80s.

-In a way it is a memoir, the author denies it. 😂😊 But i know it is.

-The writing is lyrical and amazing. The author made me feel the way he was feeling.

-Thomas, Thomas, Thomas... Gaaaaah!

It is worth reading.



Kenny
We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside.
Philippe Besson ~~ Lie With Me


1
"In memory of Thomas Andrieu (1966-2016)"

Philippe Besson's Lie With Me is a beautifully, delicate story that traces Besson's first love. The initial p
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Michael
I read this novel for Lambda Literary, where my full review can be found.

A thoughtful examination of the ways social class shapes the experience and memory of love, Lie With Me explores the emotional toll of homophobia upon gay male interiority. From the vantage point of the present, Parisian novelist Philippe, a fictionalized version of Besson, recounts the rise and fall of an affair he began at seventeen with a stoic classmate, as well as the long-lasting aftermath of that first love. Beginnin
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Emer (A Little Haze)
First love is always such a pivotal moment in anyone's life. It bewitches you. It nourishes you. It transforms you in such a way that you can never be what you were before. It's the loss of innocence but the gaining of so much more... It is the most timeless of love stories and this book perfectly encapsulates all the emotions that a young lover experiences. When the adult Philippe sees a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love we are transported back to 1984 and the relatio ...more
Felicia
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
_________________________________

"I feel this desire swarming in my belly and running up my spine. But I have to constantly contain and compress it so that it doesn't betray me in front of the others. Because I've already understood that desire is visible."

Philippe Besson is an extraordinary writer with a soul stirring lyrical prose that left me breathless at times.

In Lie With Me, Besson takes the reader into the vulnerable mind of a 17 year old gay boy, Philippe, as he embarks on a clandestine
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Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
I recently saw Ellen Page on The Late Show give an impassioned plea to end the hate against the queer community. I was moved by her words and while reading this novella I kept thinking about them. How long has hatred left its indelible mark and perhaps changed the course of so many lives senselessly? Philippe Besson and Thomas Andrieu can be counted amongst that collateral damage. There was no hate crime or bullying per se but both were victims of a more persistent kind of hatred that relegated ...more
☆ Todd
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

A beautifully EXHAUSTING story.
"This feeling of love, it transports me, it makes me happy. But it also consumes me and makes me miserable, the way all impossible loves are miserable."
That quote was extremely telling as to the overall tone of the book.

As told, I felt only infatuation from Philippe, and pretty cold indifference from Thomas, so I wouldn't really call this "my type" of romance.

Also, I found neither of the MC's very likeable. Philippe came off as pompous and jaded, while Thomas was
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Emily B
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a memorable read for me. I found it touching, beautiful, and pure. There is beauty in it’s simplicity of one person recalling a time in their life, or in this case, a relationship in their life in an honest and unobstructed way without too many other narratives or characters to distract.

I believed every word and felt everything the narrator felt, which shows how beautifully written it is.
Nadia
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-lit
Lie With Me is a beautifully written lyrical novel by French author Philippe Besson about a love affair between two 17 year old boys in the 80s. They get together in their final year of school, hiding their relationship and meeting secretly, realising that their love has to stay invisible for the rest of the world. The book is full of exquisite passages expressing the boys' longing, burning love and heartbreak. At 160 pages this is a quick read that I savoured in a day.

"This feeling of love, it
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Elyse  Walters
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
“But he had everything planned.

“The suddenness of the proposition disconcerts me. We were perfect strangers an hour ago”.

And then......
“We make love without a condom.
AIDS is there though. We even know of it’s true identity. It’s no longer refer to as ‘gay cancer’”.

By 20% into this short - one sitting - novel .....I already had my judgements.... I also knew how it was going to end.

Two complete High School strangers had sex in a deserted smelling corner of a locker room.

I don’t care what the
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Whitney Atkinson
tw // homophobia (f-slur), (view spoiler)

to my lactose intolerant ass, melancholy books are like cheese: so, so good but so, so bad for me at the same time.

This book employs a lot of tropes and stylistic choices that have a track record of grabbing me by the heart: a succinct but gorgeous writing style, a hindsight/regretful point of view, forbidden romance, etc. Though this book is translated from French, the writing flows so well. Even though this book definitely does
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Amanda
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written novel narrating the love affair between Philippe and Thomas set in the 1980’s. They meet at school. Philippe is intelligent and shy whereas Thomas is quiet, handsome and popular with the girls.

Philippe is attracted to Thomas and can’t keep his eyes off him. Thomas invites Philippe out for lunch he explains that he cannot fight his feelings for him, this is the start of their sexual liaisons, meeting up secretly afraid of other people’s homophobia.

This is such a beautiful m
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Gabby
Thanks Scribner for the ARC!

This is a male/male romance that takes place in France in the 1980’s. This book has called itself the French version of Brokeback Mountain and many are comparing this to Call Me By Your Name. I think this book was short and sweet, but it didn’t bring anything new to the table for me as far as romances go. I thought the writing style was absolutely gorgeous but I was never able to really connect with the characters unfortunately, and this book lacked the emotional punc
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Richard Derus
The Publisher Says: The award-winning, bestselling French novel by Philippe Besson about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald.

We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only
...more
Dennis
This review will be short, because at around 160 pages, Philippe Besson's Lie With Me holds no excess. It is a straight to-the-point monologue type of read where the narrator reflects on a time in his life where he felt most vulnerable; meeting his lover Thomas and coming to terms with his homosexuality. As the two grew older, their infatuation became a full blown love affair—that affected both of them as adults. They say true love never dies.

Later I'll hear the famous insults, the obscene
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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Annoyingly imperfectly perfect and poignant, I just couldn't keep my eyes and mind away from the very first sentence of this book. I haven't read anything that is this breezy and tugging. The words are raw, the emotions direct and the characters rather bound to secrecy all their lives. I got completely immersed in these mere few pages, got so lost and covered with emotions in between the lines that I simply had to finish up this book in one sitting. And yes, it's my perfect kind of read: precise ...more
Katerina
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so looking forward to it.
In a way, it's an autobiography.
The main characters are Philippe and Thomas. This book is dedicated to Thomas, who died at age 50, it seems. He was born in the same year as me. So you can imagine how emotional this book is. I had the first goose bumps when I opened this extraordinary book. In this case I have the hardcover. It was worth it. To touch it with my fingertips. It's a special feeling. And I'm very emotional in this case. I know.

...more
Rachel
Lie With Me felt to me like a cross between Call Me By Your Name and Tin Man, but stronger and less heady than the former, and more bitter and perhaps more ambitious than the latter. Translated beautifully from the French by Molly Ringwald (yes, that Molly Ringwald), Lie With Me tells the story of a love affair between two teenage boys in 1984 rural France, narrated years later by Philippe with the kind of mature perception that only time can bring.

Nothing about this story is new; homophobia, cl
...more
Emma
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Because you’re not like the others, because I don’t see anyone but you and you don’t even realize it.
Because you will leave and we will stay.


Philippe Besson did a marvelous job with this little gem of a book. I was in awe of his lyrical prose and I really did enjoy the different timelines in which the story was set. The relationship between the two main characters, Philippe and Thomas, was what dr
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Tinichix (nicole)
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
"...everyone has secrets; besides, it's good to have things that belong only to you."

This one is a hard one for me to review for multiple reasons. For one, I had really high expectations for this book, probably too high. I think I set myself up for potentially being let down. I have enjoyed similar books and I think I had this one on a pedestal with those before I even started it. I wanted to read this book so bad that I ordered one, received it damaged, got a refund, and then ordered another fr
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David J
Philippe Besson’s Lie With Me records a short-lasting love affair between Philippe and Thomas in a remote French village in the 1980s and the years-lasting effect on Philippe after Thomas departs from his life. This has drawn comparisons to Call Me By Your Name and Brokeback Mountain, but I’m struggling to see it as great as those. I feel like there’s something missing, and while the brevity of this piece of autofiction makes for a fast read, it also kind of leaves me wanting more.

We get scenes
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Raul Bimenyimana
A 3.5 rating. This book is more a novella given how short it is, and has received comparisons with Brokeback Mountain and Call Me By Your Name and I partly understand because they deal with certain similar issues. That is, repression, longing, and separation. Two teenaged boys in France during the 80s have a secret relationship that haunts both to their adulthood and middle-age.

I hate to say it, but certain parts of the story, as others have mentioned, were very predictable and what saved the s
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Blair
This novella flips between past and present as the narrator recalls his first love, Thomas. In a small French village circa 1984, the two 17-year-old boys are acutely aware that their relationship is dangerous, but are magnetically drawn to one another. The narrator falls helplessly in love, while Thomas always seems to remain at something of a distance. Lie With Me is also seemingly autofictional – the narrator is named Philippe, has become a successful writer, and has written novels with names ...more
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
you could tell from the beginning how this is gonna end but did that knowledge make it any easier to deal w it??? you wish

cmbyn also wishes it could be as beautiful as this (ownvoices) book

rep: gay mc


Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Reads Rainbow
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Gerhard
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think that what is important to ultimately understanding, and finding meaning, in this novel is to appreciate its context in the gay literary canon. For me, it was an incredibly stilted and frustrating reading experience, marred by some jarring turns of phrasing in the English translation by Molly Ringwald.

There is a curiously distancing effect in the writing, which could have something to do with transferring some of the subtleties of the French original. An example early on is when the AIDS
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Doug
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sincere thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for an ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

4.5, rounded up.

I am not ashamed to admit this left me teary-eyed with the ineffable sadness of the final pages, but the entire book had an almost galvanizing effect on me, since a lot of it hit very close to home ... as I suspect it will for many gay men of my generation. Although it's a story that will be familiar to many, Besson tells it in a perfunctory manner which proves exactly right for the
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct no. of pages 2 16 Jan 12, 2021 01:22PM  
NEW FRENCH FICTIO...: LEXICAL FIELD OF LOVE 2 3 Oct 13, 2019 07:01AM  
NEW FRENCH FICTIO...: FAVORITE QUOTE 1 9 Oct 04, 2019 10:19AM  
NEW FRENCH FICTIO...: * DISCUSSION FROM MyFrenchLife™ French Book Club 2 9 Sep 30, 2019 06:45AM  
Mt. Lebanon Publi...: Lie With Me by Phillippe Besson 1 8 Jun 11, 2019 04:39PM  

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In 1999, Besson, who was a jurist at that time, was inspired to write his first novel, In the Absence of Men, while reading some accounts of ex-servicemen of the First World War. The novel won the Emmanuel-Roblès prize.

L'Arrière-saison, published in 2002, won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire 2003. Un garçon d'Italie was nominated for the Goncourt and the Médicis prizes.

Seeing that his works aroused so mu
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“(And when you've been hurt once, you're afraid to try again later, in dread of enduring the same pain. You avoid getting hurt in an attempt to avoid suffering: for years, this principle will serve as my holy sacrament. So many lost years.)” 22 likes
“Why me?

He says: Because you are not like all the others, because I don't see anyone but you and you don't even realize it.

He adds this phrase, which for me is unforgettable: Because you will leave and we will stay.”
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