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Život pred sebou

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  19,224 ratings  ·  1,626 reviews
Hrdinom diela je arabský chlapec Mohamed, ktorého vychováva v útulku pre bezprizorné deti bývalá židovská prostitútka Róza. Okolo nej a okolo domu s ďalšími deťmi sa snuje dej, v ktorom náš detský hrdina hľadá svoju matku a svojho otca, Rózou dobre zatajovaných. Cestou k sebe by sme mohli označiť toto hľadanie, cestou krutých realít detského poznávania sveta, nehostinného ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published 1984 by Slovenský spisovateľ (first published September 14th 1975)
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E both of them.the language is French,naturally.
Of course,it has been translated into English as well.…more
both of them.the language is French,naturally.
Of course,it has been translated into English as well.(less)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
La vie devant soi = The Life Before Us, Romain Gary

The Life Before Us, is a novel by French author Romain Gary, who wrote it under the pseudonym of "Emile Ajar". It was originally published in English as Momo then re-published in 1986 as The Life Before Us. It won the Prix Goncourt prize in 1975.

Momo, a Muslim orphan boy who is about 10 years old, lives under the care of an old Jewish woman named Madame Rosa, who was a prisoner at Auschwitz and later became a prostitute in Paris.

Momo's mother a
Michael Finocchiaro
One of the most beautiful and optimistic books I have ever read, The Life Before Us is a masterpiece. Romain Gary wrote it under a pseudonym, Emile Ajar, and thus became to only person to win the French Goncourt Prize twice. In fact, it was only after his tragic death that the identity of the mysterious but astounding write Ajar was revealed to by Romain Gary.

The story is told my Momo, an infant of prostitution in an illegal boarding house run by the aging Madame Rosa, well past her prime but w
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prix-goncourt
Absolutely stunning narrator voice!

Romain Gary has so many different nuances (and pseudonyms!) that each book is a complete surprise. This one is no exception, and it manages the impossible balance of being incredibly brutal and heartbreakingly sweet and amazingly funny.

What is the brutal part?

A young boy grows up with an old lady in Belleville, a poor and crime-ridden part of Paris. He learns far too early to navigate a world of whores and pimps and drug addicts.

What is the sweet part?

Despite t
Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-french
”I had fun for a while scaring cars by crossing in front of them at the last minute. People don’t like to run children over, and it gave me a kick to know I was making them nervous. They’d step on the brake like a ton of bricks to keep from hurting you, which isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing. I’d have liked to scare them even worse, but I wasn’t up to it yet. I hadn’t quite decided whether to join up with the police or the terrorists, all in good time. I’d see.”

This passage reminded me o

I still associate Summer with reading French books. That’s a routine we had when growing up. The shadow of Romain Gary belongs to those Summers-- with all the enchantment that memories from one’s youth hold for all of us-- since his was one of names on my father’s bookshelves. So, I am certain I have read some of his works but cannot remember which. No matter, I am delighted I have picked his books up again, for this novel has been one of the most memorable reads this year.

La vie devant soi was
Elyse  Walters
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, classics, fiction
This is the story of 'Madame Rosa'...a classic French book, written by Romain Gary, an American screenwriter who gained fame as a French writer. He's won many
literary and honors awards in France.

There is a a stage play of this story ...I haven't seen it.. but it would be easy to visualize.

A wonderful evocation of a child's mind and experience.
Funny, disturbing...sad...honest...unconventional environment.
This novel touches our heart while captivating our mind. ( a simple tale of many layers).
Lee Klein
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Portrait of the artist as the young Algerian son of a prostitute raised in 1970 paris slums by an obese 67-year-old Holocaust survivor/retired whore and educated by Senegalese trannies and wise old men whose long experience must be respected. First-person narration by a well-meaning, sensitive, street-smart 10-year-old/14-year-old named Momo, whose best friend is a dressed-up umbrella named Arthur and who has too much pride to peddle his ass. Lots of LOL malapropisms (esp. re: "dramatized" and " ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Emilie by: Jeff Dionne
My absolute favourite French book. Words fail me on this one, it just transported me elsewhere and stayed with me years after I read it. The story is narrated by a young child, and Ajar truly catches the essence of childhood, the illogical, literal and innocent perspective is dead-on, and you truly feel like you experience the world through his eyes. Mesmerising, absolutely magical and full of soul.
I never wanted it to end and will reread it every time my life needs a little more joy, a little m
Vit Babenco
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some are born to sweet delight… It isn’t about the hero of this novel… And although adolescent Momo lived among those whose profession was to bring delights to the others his home was the sort of a gloomy demimonde orphanage…
“Madame Rosa had gray hair that was falling too, because it had stopped caring very much one way or the other. She was scared to death of going bald, it's an awful thing for a woman who hasn't got much else. She had more ass and bosom than anybody you ever heard of, and whe
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, franceses, favorites
"A vida não é uma coisa para toda a gente."

E este livro também não será um favorito para toda a gente, mas a história de amor entre Momo e a Madame Rosa - e especialmente a "voz" de Momo - vão ficar comigo por muito tempo.

Vou procurar mais livros deste autor, embora receie que me vá acontecer o mesmo do que com o Afonso Cruz e que este seja o melhor...

Fez-me lembrar Para onde vão os guarda-chuvas (do dito Afonso) e também o Navegador Solitário (do saudoso João Aguiar) - ambos altamente recomendá
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartrendering survival story in multicultural Paris
The special thing about "La vie devant soi" is the charming story teller: the 10-year old Momo, living in Paris, son of a prostitute (which he never knew). He's now living with Mme Rosa, on the sixth floor in a very multicultural district of Paris, in the 1970's. Mme Rosa too is a former prostitute, of jewish descent (she survived Auschwitz).

In his own words Momo describes the very difficult situation of the ageing Rosa, his love and care for
Yasmin Moghadamnia
I just loved this short little story. Everything in it could be a favorite quote of mine.
I think some day I should go back and read it again, just so I can highlight the sentences I love and repeat them to myself like a mantra.
I am completely 100% in love with this funny, brutally sad little novel.

“ I say, to hell with junk. The kids who take it all get addicted to happiness, and that’s the end, because happiness is famous for the misery of going without it. Anybody who takes drugs must really want to be happy, and who would do that but a king or a dope? I’ve never touched the hard stuff, only smoked grass a few times with the boys to be polite, and that’s all, although ten is the age when the big guys come around t
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the funniest sad book I have ever read.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always said it and I'll say it again: READ THE BOOK IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE. I know that not everyone can afford such a luxury and the majority reads only in one language. However, following many personal experiences, I noticed that reading the translated version almost always spoils the whole experience.

I really enjoyed reading this. Even though this may be not one of my favorite books, I have learned to appreciate good writing. This book made Romain Gary the only writer in the history to
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
couldn't put it down! ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I utterly hated this book. Everything about it was so unlikable that reading it was a torture and I should've dropped it out instead of being stubborn and picking it up again to read. ...more
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, france
Robert Browning's Rabbi Ben Ezra was wrong: "Come grow old with me/The best is yet to be." Not hardly. Romain Gary, writing as Emile Ajar, in The Life Before Us [a.k.a. Madame Rosa], writes the definitive book about old age.

In Paris's Belleville, Madame Rosa lives raising the children of Jewish, North African, and Black African prostitutes, who send her a monthly pittance to care for them. Prominent among them is the 14-year-old Mohammed, who prefers to be called Momo, is fiercely loyal to the o
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Synopsis: The Life Before Us is the story of Momo, an orphaned Arab boy and his devotion to Madame Rosa, a dying 68 year old, 220 lb. survivor of Auschwitz. Rosa, a former prostitute, has created a second career for herself providing room and board to the children of other whores in the ethnic ghettos of Paris. As her physical and mental health decline, Momo determines to support her in any way he can. The supporting cast is rounded out with transvestites, pimps and witch doctors. This is a book
Alessandro Speciale
Well, this was an unexpected miracle. Drawing a list of the "themes" or "issues" this book touches upon makes for the bucket list of the definitive socially conscious, morally righteous book: Arabs and Jews, euthanasia, dementia, prostitution, racism, immigration, gay rights -- and that's not even comprehensive. In short, a summary of this book would guarantee that no one touches it from a mile away. And yet, and yet. It is wonderfully amoral, light hearted and profoundly and simply human story. ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, novel
"Life isn't for everybody, only for the chosen few." ...more
“Sometimes I have the feeling that we live in a dubbed movie and everybody moves their lips but the voices don't correspond. We are all post-synchronized and sometimes is very accomplished and looks natural.” ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the saddest book I've ever read.
The thing is, it's not written as something horribly sad. The style is actually quite comedic. The novel tells the story of a young boy growing up in an immigrant neighborhood in Paris. He lives with an old dying Jewish woman - an ex-prostitute and a Holocaust survivor. He lives in a terrifying world, but since he is a child, he knows no other world, so he speaks about that harsh life in a completely casual manner, as if there's nothing strange o
Lolo S.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible prose: the perfect length and feeling for a rainy fall afternoon.

It's a pleasure to read a simple story like this one. The simplicity grabs you, right from the first page. The main character, little Momo is the most charming protagonist in my recent readings (I'd like to get him and the little boy from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close together in one room - what a pair of moppets!). Momo, an orphaned whore's son, is the right mix of wide-eyed newborn babe and street urchin who's s
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mükemmel bir kitaptı.Ağlaya ağlaya bitirdim.Yazarın diğer tüm kitaplarını okuma isteği yarattı içimde./ It was an excellent book.I finish reading with the tears in my eyes.It makes me read all the books of him.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the novel that you mourn when you turn to the last page. Absolutely beautiful in all elements of its form. The characters breathe within you long after you've read its last word. This is humanity and love at its best in all its gritty imperfection. ...more
Maria Carmo
If there is "different" book, it is this one. The "voice" in which the story is told is radically diverse of what is current - the young boy telling the story seems to have no sort of "filter" - he is the observer of his own life with Madame Rosa, coloured by the fact that he leaves in the Paris "bas fond", among prostitutes, travesties and people who are illegal migrants... The love between Momo and Madame Rosa does not prevent his critical look upon life's events and ways... It is, apparently, ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the most read book in France in the 20th century.
It has a really interesting story behind it, Gary published it under a pseudonym and won the Goncourt , which no one can win twice by the Goncourt rules, but he did!! Also he got the last laugh on the French literary press that discounted him as a has been while they adored the work of Ajar, his pseudonym!
I liked this book. It is tender and the 10 year old p.o.v is very well developed. The character or Madam Rosa is a classic and Momo i
Olivia Wildenstein
I remember reading this in school and adoring it. I'd forgotten a good deal about the story but I have to say I understand why I loved it so many years ago. It is a masterpiece that everyone should read at least once in their life. Or twice. Perhaps in two decades, I'll even read it a third time. It's really that good! ...more
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a grasp of gutter Parisian
Shelves: pure-delight
Written by a French diplomat (under a nom de plume) through the eyes of the abandoned teenaged son of an immigrant prostitute, this gem has uncanny resonance. It evokes a life in which morbid humour is the first line of defence against despair -- very funny and totally without self-pity.
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