piano by Jean Echenoz translated by Mark Polizzotti



piano jean echenoz

notes – 

This writer won prix Goncourt with an earlier book ,he is the son of a psychiatrist and currently lives in paris . 

the book – 

the book follows Max Delmarc a talented but bored pianist in paris he is sheperded  in the start of the book by his minder Bernie who makes sure he doesn’t drink and trains loads on the piano a love figure in rose but nothing is happening with that .but he has only 22 days to live and is killed in a violent attack pn the twenty-second day ,he awakes in a surreal place ,a short of in-between stage where his future is to be decide ,he meets Christian Beilard who is assigned to watch him and help him either change his ways or die . he ends up back in Paris with a new face and life style . 

my view – 

This book is one of the strangest books i ve read in years it starts of as a typical french novel about a man stuck in the rat race so to speak ,then changes  in to a freudian story of what is right and wrong ,at times in the second third it reminded me of the tv series prisoner the place max awakes is like the village every one with their place ,brilliantly surreal  and quirky this guy is a true one-off 


an interview with the writer 


Up late feeling a bit random so going to do couple of lists .-

Last ten library books borrowed

  1. life a user manual by Georges Perec -french modernist
  2. you face tomorrow by Javier Marias – new spanish voice
  3. a private affair by Beppe Fenglio – post war italian classic
  4. the house of hunger by Dambudzo Marechera -zimbabwean writer that died to young
  5. that awful mess on the via Merula by Carlo Emilio Gadda -murder and philosophy in one novel
  6. Niels Lyhne by Jens Peter Jacobsen -Danish classic
  7. alphabet of the night by Jean-Euphele Milce – Hatian novel about a jewish shopkeeper
  8. piano by Jean Echenoz -new french writer a bit like prisoner
  9. the labyrinth of solitude by Octavio Paz – book about being mexican
  10. the shadow of a smile by Kachi a. ozumba – english based Nigerian

a wide choice there .

5 favourite places

  1. Elie fife where my gran lives ,long beaches and peace
  2. Aran coast Donegal -spent a lot of my youth around her with my father who is from Derry peat fires and rockpools
  3. Torquay -where i spent my honeymoon with my darling wife
  4. Chesterfield i love where i live and place i first met my wife at the station
  5. Alnwick Northumberland -lived here for a few years wild countryside and peace oh and largest secondhand bookshop in uk lol

i love countryside and peace ,most of all sharing time with my wife in these places .

10 random i pod tracks –

  1. had a dream about you baby – Bob Dylan -down in the groove
  2. in a future age – wilco -summerteeth
  3. dazed and confused – led Zeppelin -song remains the same
  4. ready for the floor -hot chip -made in the dark
  5. the band played waltzing Matilda -the pogues -rum sodomy and the lash
  6. ceremony -new order -retro(disc1)
  7. last post on the bugle -the libertines -the libertines
  8. blue in green-miles Davies -kind of blue
  9. tears of rage -the band -music from big pink
  10. stretch out and wait -the smiths -world won’t listen

hope it is an insight into me a bit ,stu

April 2010


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