Oceana2602's Reviews > Les Voleurs de beauté

Les Voleurs de beauté by Pascal Bruckner
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's review
Dec 07, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, german, male-writers
Read in December, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Uh, this was...weird.

The story is this: man (narrator) and woman get stuck in snowstorm, leave car, get to house, are taken in as guests, are stopped from leaving and discover, gasp, the horrible secret of their hosts!

Which is that they (the houseowners), capture young, beautiful women and lock them in their basement until all the beauty has disappeared.

Yep, that's what I was thinking.

Of course, that's not all. When the beauty-thieves want to keep the narrator's girlfriend and steal her beauty, he is offered a deal: kidnap three beauties himself in exchange for his girlfriend.

Trust me, the story isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds. In fact, I never got over the whole "beauty-stealing" thing. yes, it is explained, mostly in dialogues, but I never understood it. It doesn't even make a lick of sense to me what motivates these people. Of course, one can say that they are obvious psychopaths, and I'm probably better off not knowing what motivates them, but the stealing of the beauties seems to be the driving point in this book, so it would have been nice to understand it even a little bit. I know it's not meant to be taken literary, but I still don't get it. I like beautiful things. So maybe it's a male thing. Most men seem to be rather afraid of beautiful women.
Otherwise I start to question decisions, and, well, once you start with "why don't they just call the police?", it's pretty much over.
So in that regard, the book didn't work for me.

The structure however, makes it an interesting read. Bruckner uses a first person narrator, and lets the story masterfully unfold from that point of view. Because the narrator tells his story to someone else, and we get to see both their POV, one from fact, one from memories, the atmosphere becomes even more intense. You never quite know what is real, especially given the absurdity of the whole beauty-stealing.

And then there is the recount of the beginnings of the relationship between the narrator and his girlfriend, which is full of literary anecdotes and comparisons, some more obvious, some I probably didn't even get.

So yes, I enjoyed reading this. Despite my incomprehension of the whole stealing beauty thing.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Dune (new) - added it

Dune Shouldn`t have tell the story here... you just spoiled the surprise. people should have the chance to get excited about discovering the book step by step.

Oceana2602 Sorry, you were spoiled, but that's why i ticked the spoiler ticky-box which should have hidden the review AND clearly marked it with the words SPOILER ALERT at the very beginning.

message 3: by Dune (new) - added it

Dune right... I got it now!
Lucky for me, I already read the book an year ago. :)

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