500 Great Books By Women discussion

The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels
80 views
Chosen By Fellow Goodreaders > The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels - Ágota Kristof - Aidan

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Aubrey (last edited Aug 26, 2014 12:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aubrey (korrick) | 2004 comments The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels, Lydia Chukovskaya, translated from French by Alan Sheridan, David Watson, Mark Romano, 1997, Hungary, NOVEL

"...kristof's fictional universe is immersive, then seems to disintegrate completely ... but it doesn't ... the kind of writing that feels more genuine than the world around you, that leaves you deprived & broken when you finally set it down...."

(Aidan, review)

Review Medley
Fionnuala (The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie)
Aubrey


message 2: by Gregsamsa (last edited Jul 30, 2014 11:59PM) (new) - added it

Gregsamsa This is a little off-topic, but my horrible memory keeps letting go of the fact that there's a literary novel titled The Notebook, and so when I see it I think of the Nicholas Sparks smarmfest, which often causes confusion when it appears associated with certain GoodReadsters of taste. I once saw him on a local bookchat tv show and the keen host Teresa Miller asked a question that contained the sly hint that his work was not considered "literary." His response to this was the only time he broke out of his medical-salesrep obsequious rhetoric, as he tried to dismiss the whole category. He said that the difference is that if you think you're a literary writer then you try to pick the fanciest word for something, like "unfurl" for a flag, even though that's not a correct use of that word. I was stunned. Aside from the question I wanted to ask ("Fiction being literary is only a matter of vocabulary to you?") I wondered what word he would pick, avoiding the "fancy" (and correct) word "unfurl" in reference to a flag?

I apologize for the off-topic rant, I just really hate that guy. Perhaps if I read Kristof's Notebook, the curse will be broken.


message 3: by Fionnuala (last edited Jul 31, 2014 01:45PM) (new) - added it

Fionnuala Gregsamsa wrote: "I apologize for the off-topic rant, I just really hate that guy. Perhaps if I read Kristof's Notebook, the curse will be broken."

Here's a little remedy for your problem, Greg: when you think of Kristof's work, think The Copybook as in A4 size school copybook/jotter rather than a neat little moleskin - that's how I understood the original title.
And Saramago also has a book called The Notebook - very different to Sparks I think...

Here are my reviews of Kristof's books:
The Notebook: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
The Proof: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
The Third Lie: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Nate D (rockhyrax) Gregsamsa, the easy way to tell the difference is that Agota Kristof's novel (or the whole trilogy-in-one-volume) is one of the finest ever, arguably. Once you've read it, you'll forget Nicolas Sparks even exists.


Aubrey (korrick) | 2004 comments I love the direction this discussion is going. That is all.


message 6: by Gregsamsa (last edited Aug 02, 2014 07:06AM) (new) - added it

Gregsamsa Interesting reviews and threads following your reviews, Fio. I am curious as to whether, after finishing the whole trilogy, the second one rose in your estimation any. The difference between your rapturous praise for The Notebook and your far less impressed review of The Proof seemed pretty extreme, which is interesting in itself.

@Nate: "Once you've read it, you'll forget Nicolas Sparks even exists." That's a damn good reason there.


message 7: by Fionnuala (new) - added it

Fionnuala Gregsamsa wrote: "The difference between your rapturous praise for The Notebook and your far less impressed review of The Proof seemed pretty extreme, which is interesting in itself."

I felt that Kristof might never have intended to follow up on the first book - it was written some years before the others. The first book was as perfect as an...egg, no that won't do, perhaps...an igloo? But you can't really build on to an igloo, can you? So my theory is that a publisher asked her to build an extension to the original igloo and Kristof couldn't manage to get it right but she persisted anyway and fortunately the extension to the extension fared better. Just my cracked theory...see Nate's review for a less scrambled opinion.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

i'm surprised that she wrote the first book years before the others--they read (to me) like in a flash of feverish inspiration she wrote all three over the course of a few months. but i also loved the second novel.


message 9: by Fionnuala (new) - added it

Fionnuala Aidan wrote: "i'm surprised that she wrote the first book years before the others--they read (to me) like in a flash of feverish inspiration she wrote all three over the course of a few months. but i also loved ..."

Perhaps she did, Aidan - my theory is only a theory and there may have been good reasons why the first book appeared well before the others.
It was the shift from the first person plural narrators to the third person singular in the second book that threw me. The spare prose worked a treat when it was the twins telling the story. When it was an unnamed narrator, I was suddenly tired of the bareness of it.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

The spare prose worked a treat when it was the twins telling the story. When it was an unnamed narrator, I was suddenly tired of the bareness of it.

that makes sense. i was invested enough by that point to accept nearly anything kristof threw at me, but there were points at which she threatened to undermine the whole thing.


message 11: by Fionnuala (new) - added it

Fionnuala Aidan wrote: "that makes sense. i was invested enough by that point to accept nearly anything kristof threw at me, but there were points at which she threatened to undermine the whole thing...."

I did find the story a little implauseable in the second book but she managed to set it mostly back on track in the third book, I thought. It's a great reading experience on the whole.


Aubrey (korrick) | 2004 comments I'm submitting my review for this: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


back to top