Sunday, February 1, 2015

Review: "Missing Person" by Patrick Modiano

I try not to write reviews for books so soon after reading them, but since I want to get caught up, I will be reviewing a short novel by the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Patrick Modiano. His book, Missing Person is something rather pleasant, but not something that made me jump for joy. The big thing I take away from it is how hard it is for me to think that a writer like Modiano can win what is the greatest prize a writer can receive. That sounds bad, but it isn’t. His style of writing, from the narrative turns, the spare prose and digestible length and syntax are not what I am used to when I approach a book by a Nobel Prize winner. That has changed in the past few years, with authors like Mo Yan and Alice Munro, popular authors, at least in their respective sides of the world, whose stories are interesting, fulfilling both intellectually and emotionally, although I find Mo Yan to be a bit dense, despite liking him a lot. The plot of this book is rather simple, and that is good considering its short length. It concerns a man named Guy, who, for the past ten years, is trying to find out who he was before and during WWII. He finds many clues, people who he was told are dead are actually alive, and he is never sure what to make of anything he is told. It is one of those times in a book where a mystery is so compelling that it doesn’t need an answer, or an answer would simply ruin it, and this book satisfies the reader in that it chooses not to reveal why Guy lost his memory or if he had a memory to lose. In the end, it was an interesting book, posing a lot of old question in a new light, and made me curious to read more from this author, now that he is world-famous.
Rating: 4/5

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