This collection ntroduces Carrère’s shorter works to an English-language audience. Featuring more than thirty essays written over a twenty-five-year period and including pieces on a murderer and French president Emmanuel Macron.
A superb collection of essays by Emmanuel Carrère, one of the best storytellers around ... When Carrère writes a story, he knows how to stir up powerful and conflicting emotions in his reader, which is one of the reasons he’s so good ... If you’re interested in Carrère, this book of essays is a good place to start. It’s the best book I’ve read for ages.
A collection of journalistic pieces by one of France’s leading literary daredevils showcases his long-running personal investment in the mystery that is other people, while offering indirect glimpses at his longer works ... [Carrère] thrives in the interstices between philosophy, fiction, and memoir, using actual events as prompts from which to relate deeply felt confessions about life’s big questions, often departing from the strictly factual to move readers toward greater truths. Here, in pithy magazine pieces and extracts, we see the author in relatively polished form, his lively humanism and characteristically intimate voice both on brilliant display ... Readers already familiar with Carrère may not find much new here, but those just discovering him for the first time may find themselves hungry for more
... 20 essays (totaling 97,196 words) that reveal both the depth and the breadth of [Carrère's] achievement. Not that all of them are masterpieces. Carrère has done what so many self-anthologists do (I plead guilty to the same misdemeanor): He’s indulged himself by rescuing from obscurity certain stories that did not really demand rescue ... The abundant majority of the pieces in this book, however, are riveting, not least those that he later developed into full-scale books. In such cases, it’s clearly not a matter of recycling old material but of responding to an urgent need in him to know more, understand more, feel more. And we are gripped by the same pressure: No matter how often he returns to his story, we are carried along with him ... Carrère is masterly both at singling out the telling detail and of grasping and conveying his subject as a whole.