Hate A romance by Tristan Garcia

Tristan Garcia was born in 1981 (so very young ) ,his parents are teachers .He studied Philosophy and is a published writer on philosophy .This book is his debut.He has also worked on french television .He currently teaches at the university of Picardy .You can find out a little more about him via an interview here from bomb magazine 

I read the blurb about this book when I got it from library as it was one of the books on the list that had dropped under my radar  so intrigued me as to why I’d missed it when on the surface it would be a book I d read .Hate a romance is a story of four people and follows them from late teens through growing up although Leibo is older than the other three They are three men and one women in the early 80’s .This as an idea for the book  made me thing of two things. When I read it the first as AIDS is mention was it going to be a'” french Line of beauty “Hollinghurst novel set in 1980’s also about the gay experience at the time also we a good chunk of politics like this book .The other thing that sprung to mind was this life the tv series that had a Gay character but also young hip people at the heart of it ,also at times they used have state of the world discussions which this book has also conflict between the gay and straight characters as this does .So who are these  four – Will

Will never understood what happened ,though he worried and worried about it .Something occurred between them something scandalous and wrong…,

from first chapter that describe Will a bit .

Now will and Doume end up as really close the sort people you can’t separate as they fall in love on first meeting  .But Doume is a trouble man at the time he advocates having unprotected sex early on in the AIDS crisis .He also struggles as his best friend changes over time .

Dominique Rossi had alway looked handsome in a mature way ,responsible and lightly chiseled .The trouble was when he was twenty it didn’t suit him .He had to wait to look his age .

I love thought of Moume having to grow to look right I remember people I grew up with looking wrong then right when older .

We find out about these two via Liz an art journalist and the main narrator of the book she knew these two men and Jean Michael Lebiowitz her professor and Doume best friend she is the link between them all .As she meet will and introduced him to Doume and Leibo .So that is how it starts we find a twisted web of love politics ,aids ,backbiting as love does turn to hate as in the title .We see Liz watch these three men grow up .

I loved this in parts it has a choppy style shortish chapters ,almost a non fiction style ,but it has been described as a good example of the Roman A Clef style of fiction where real life crosses over into fiction .So these must be people Tristan has come across at some point on the paris arts/culture scene So has first hand knowledge of the people who may be the characters as the review for this book in the guardian revealed the real people who the characters maybe based on names aren’t two different to the real characters .I also think his other job as a philosopher has a large part to play with the way the book is maybe more about concepts and how people react to certain situations the main ones in this book are love ,betrayal and the Aids crisis oh and maybe a bit about the attraction of Leibo as he seem to move more to the right during the reign of Mitterrand .My only quibble was it maybe need fleshing out a bit at times also could have  been double the length .He won the well-known french prize the prix de Flore which has a number of well-known earlier winners including Michel Houellebecq .

WHat did you think of this book ?

Do you like books in the Roman a clef style ?

March 2012


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