Brief loves that live forever by Andreï Makine

Brief loves that live forever

Brief loves that live forever byAndreï Makine

Russian fiction

Original title  Le Livre des brèves amours éternelles,

Translator Geoffrey Strachan

Source Review copy

I ve reviewed Maikne before on the blog twice before the life of an unknown man and Human love  ,so have said a lot about the siberian born russian that has made his home in France and now writes in French .He is also now being published by Maclehose press for the first time .So this is his latest collection I m not sure if its a Novel or a interlocking collection of stories my self .

All young lovers travel this road and all ,in their alarm ,have only one soloution :to put pressure on the limits our poor human bodies impose on us .We doubled the violence of embraces,seeking now the complicty of the sea at night ,now the solitude of water falls in the forest.

Love in the soviet era is grasped at for all it is worth

So as you see on  the cover art, you sense what this book is  about  before you  read this book well the  picture gave me a sense of something being  a  tale of past like the birds that fly away every year but are remembered .This book is at heart russian and about loss and love ,but also moments in life .The life in collection is that of Dimitri Ress ,now on his way out of life .But through these eight chapters / stories ,we glimpse the love in harsh times ,what love is how we view love from a child through growing to becoming an adult .All this is set against a backdrop of 60’s and 70’s Russia .We see the child in an orphanage ,via an older man who has come to see them able to touch the very beginning of communism as this man had met Lenin ,through a holiday affair ,a women visiting a grave in France ,the Afghan war Ress gets injured .The dark grim times I remember of Brezhnev  we saw in the west those news reports of what seemed a very grim place ,here don’t seem so grim at times and shows as ever love can win through rather like Nadas in Parallel stories love and sex or even the whiff of sex is all that remains given communism .The start of the book also remind me of the start of life of an unknown man as it is two men meeting and one telling his life to the other .The women he meets and loves and how he remembers them remind me at times of the lines from the film city slicker where Jack Palance talks about a women he saw but never meet and just the fact that he could she her outline against the sun ,this is how Ress remembers not the whole just the feel of the women .

At the time of our meeting almost thirty years ago ,these were the solemm word I believed were needed to sum up Dimtri Ress’s life:a revolt against a world in which hatred is the rule and love a strange anomaly .And the failure of God whose creation man is called upon to set to rights …

Near the end his friend sums up the man .

Well I love Makine  ,his books always strike a chord with me and this book has the classic hooks of his writing they are soviet russia ,love as in this case not always working out ,the struggle for a better life .Though he lives in France and has as I said before has written other books under an alias that made the French press think there was a new French talent but no it was Makine ,where as his own writing is distinctively Russian ,with a real sense of longing and asking ,but I do always sense hope in his works and ok it doesn’t always work out .I’m not sure how you describe the book a novel or episodic novel but it lingers with you after you’ve put the book down remember like a collection of old sepia photos you’ve just pulled from under your bed and gone through and tell some one Ress memories some how drift into your own .Just wonderful .

Have you read Makine ?


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 16:53:12

    I *have* read some Makine, but I think not enough and not closely enough – your excellent review certainly makes me want to search this one out!


  2. Guy Savage
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 19:16:37

    I read Makine’s Requiem for a Lost Empire and thought it was a tremendous novel.


  3. Lisa Hill
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 08:15:25

    I read Life of an Unknown Man and was most impressed. I wish Maclehose Press would send me some of their books for review *sniffle*!


  4. Brian Joseph
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 09:56:09

    I have not read Makine bit this sounds very good. I tend to really like books that explore the concepts revolving around memory.


  5. Tony
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 12:43:41

    I’m eager to get into this one, especially after your review 🙂


  6. parrish lantern
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 12:57:55

    Not yet but……


  7. BB
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 15:25:18

    He’s been on my To Read list forever…


  8. jacquiwine
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 07:01:11

    This sounds wonderful! I bought it last week and am very much looking forward to reading it once I’ve finished the books on the IFFP shortlist.


  9. Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 22:45:56

    Superb review, Stu! I knew nothing about Makine until you mentioned him. Thanks so much, Judith.


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April 2013


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