Jean Tessier's Reviews > Silk

Silk by Alessandro Baricco
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's review
Oct 02, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: leisure
Read from October 21 to 25, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 2

I vaguely remember reading this book a long time ago, but I cannot recall who had recommended it. I liked the movie adaption.

This short novel has amazing rhythm. When the main character is in Europe, the prose is quick, light, with few details. When he is in Japan, things slow down. And when the woman with the face of a girl is present, time seems to stand still and he becomes hypersensitive to the slightest details. The text is brilliant as much for what is said as for what is not said. The reader is made to feel what Hervé Joncour is feeling. In Europe, things are mundane and expected; they hardly need mentioning; they certainly don't deserved getting excited over them. In Japan, everything is different, every detail counts; Hervé Joncour bristles with anticipation.

And the transitions are marvelous little gems in their own rights. I love how, when Hervé Joncour travels eastward, the descriptions have a familiar structure but with slight variations each time. The return travels are more quickly dispatched, but still evolve ever so slightly as the novel progresses. It's like listening to music by Philip Glass: the notes keep repeating themselves but the melody is slowly evolving and you can't help but wonder where it will lead you.

This sense of rhythm was completely lost in the movie, but it made up for it with beautiful imagery. The book is an amazing read.

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