MJ Nicholls's Reviews > The Lost Estate

The Lost Estate by Alain-Fournier
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2386804
's review
Mar 29, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: pernod-and-gauloises, novels, penguin-classics
Read from March 29 to 31, 2012

Le Grand Meaulnes is supposed to be untranslatable, and this translation by French classics legend Robin Buss doesn’t convince me otherwise. The novel hinges upon the titular Meaulnes being such a charming force of character in a lower-class school, his name echoes down the ages and his antics and adventures make him a much-beloved geezer in the province. Doesn’t quite work. But the narrator François is certainly smitten and describes Meaulnes’s first love in fits of florid descriptive prose worthy of Huysmans. Alain-Fournier (who died in the First War after this was published) seeks to capture the end of adolescence in a wistful and romantic way, and many passages in this short-chapter novel succeed at creating a dreamy forgotten arcadian paradise that might raise a tear or two, depending how pleasant your past was. But the novel lacks cohesion or credible characters, so the end result is a hotchpotch of moments within a sentimental bildungsroman frame, with a lapse or two into melodrama.
19 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Lost Estate.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/05 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell 'florid descriptive prose worthy of Huysmans'

Ha, awesome!


message 2: by B0nnie (new) - added it

B0nnie can't we say bildungsroman with a straight face now?


message 3: by MJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

MJ Nicholls B0nnie wrote: "can't we say bildungsroman with a straight face now?"

Bildungs...*snicker*...roman. No, we can't.


message 4: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Sounds like it could be the basis of a teen movie though.


message 5: by MJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

MJ Nicholls Jonathan wrote: "Sounds like it could be the basis of a teen movie though."

I'll notify Ryan Gosling.


Christopher-Calvin Pollard I want MJ to write reviews for all of my works !!


Christopher-Calvin Pollard I want MJ to write reviews for all of my works !!


message 8: by MJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

MJ Nicholls You only wrote this, Mr Fournier, so consider the job done!


back to top