Read Travesty by John Hawkes Online

travesty

Hawkes, Travesty. John Hawkes' most extreme vision of eroticism and comic terror....

Title : Travesty
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780811206402
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 132 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Travesty Reviews

  • Paul Bryant
    2018-10-31 08:59

    Nauseating. Also, insufferable. Also, bad. A pompous egomaniac finds out that his best friend has been shagging his 24 year old daughter. And same friend had a previous affair with this unnamed guy's wife. This recent discovery has incensed the unnamed husband and father to the point that he picks up friend Henri and daughter Chantal – they're all French - in his new car one evening then proceeds to drive through the countryside at increasingly alarming speeds and informs them in the transcendently tiresome monologue which is the whole novel that he intends to crash the car into a sturdy farm building he has already picked out, killing all three of them. Well, you know, that's bit strong isn't it? Bit of an over-reaction? Also bound to fail since after only about 50 pages we readers know that Chantal and Henri will be bored to death long before the crash. But this whole scenario is a little tough on poor Chantal don't you think? Would even an egomaniac think of murdering his own daughter in a fit of pique? I think not. The answer is that this novel is nothing to do with real life. It turns out that it's actually some kind of tribute/homage to Albert Camus. This may well be the truth. What I know about Albert Camus could be written on the back of a postage stamp and you would still have room for most of the New Testament. I was instead thinking it was some kind Crash ripoff – J G Ballard's masterpiece was written only three years before this thing. So as this novel prattled along (the speed the car was travelling being directly disproportionate to the slow grinding tedious sneery supercilious raised-French-eyebrow anecdotes, moral cheeseparings and elliptical crapness), I was fervently hoping that Chantal would rise up from her foetal position on the back seat, fetch out a length of chicken wire from her chichi handbag and garotte this old fucker a la Peter Clemente's treatment of Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather. Yes, that would probably have precipitated a fatal accident too, but maybe, just before it all went black, the droning noise would have stopped for a few blissful seconds.

  • Cody
    2018-11-22 06:40

    This is fucking great. This is Ballard's Crash if he had a brain not slathered in cum. I do recommend reading them as sister-novels of a sort. Thematically they're not all that dissimilar and both just reek like Hai Karate in their 70s-oid, platform'd funkdom. To which, thank you Jesus and Eddie Hazel. This monologue is one for the ages; a serpentine tour (lit/fig) through the mountains of madness that too-oft result from the complexities of swapping pee-pee's and wee-wee's with adults both consenting and unaware.OROoo la la: The Fucking French!ORMais oui: The French, Fucking

  • Nate D
    2018-11-09 11:59

    A breakneck ride in the sinister hands of a familiar-yet-unique Hawkes narrator. Why we're in this car, and where it's going, are all a part of the array of narrative hooks that slide in from the first and carry this straight through in one breathless heaving of life, sex, and vitriol, even acknowledging Hawkes' love of circling the absent and inconclusive crux of his characters and plots, so that I really should say no more and let the hooks do their work. In any event, the voice in this incredible. I wonder how this would sound on tape -- or even better, recited -- while driving at excessive speeds.

  • Josh
    2018-11-08 12:07

    (2.5) Ironic and farcical. Psychological and sadistic. A mixture of these two is all I can come up with. Perhaps a bit suspenseful in bits and pieces, but an overall slog at times. I assume not his best, but I do love the presentation of cover and back. Good job to you New Directions, bravo indeed.

  • Marc Nash
    2018-10-28 08:48

    Think the movie "Speed" though instead of it blowing up if it dropped below a certain speed, this car is being driven at breakneck speed to prevent its two captives from escaping their certain fate, that of the driver stacking the car fatally against an abandoned farmhouse. The driver therefore has a captive audience, his own 25 year old daughter and her lover, who also had cuckholded the driver. The beau is a poet, but the monologuing driver's voice is the grandiose imaginative one, the poet is pleading for his life.The driver's wife was the poet's muse, but the driver is his critic. He seems intent on punishing him not so much for bedding his wife, but more for his presumption that he has a more creative soul than the driver. With this imminent threat of death, the driver waxes lyrical, the poet wheedles and asks for that most prosaic of things, to be allowed to continue to live.What's less clear is why his own daughter has the same death sentence over her; maybe to pun ish his unfaithful wife, perhaps because of the daughter's own sexual being. But then since no one else gets a word into the text, perhaps this whole thing is in the mind of the driver rather than actually having two people captive in his car. There are some excellent vignettes in this short text, mainly concerning sex and sexuality. The eroticism of the child is perhaps most brilliantly demonstrated concerning the driver's dead little boy, who entered the parental bed and in a pre-Oedipal but most Freudian way interacted with his mother. There's also a tension-wracking scene in which his daughter is first initiated into the erotic world.The only reason I didn't give this the full 5 stars is the rhythm and the pace of the sentences. Too many long sentences and subordinate clauses for a car zooming at around 100mph. Like the movie "Speed", it needs to be more breathless. The pace could be varied between going round tight country corners and flying along straight stretches. Other than that, this was an excellent read.

  • Jimmy
    2018-11-20 08:52

    A self declared "homage to Camus", this short novel by Hawkes is part of a triad of novels beginning with the Blood Oranges. The premise is simple enough, a man (who for clarity's sake, let's call him Papa because he isn't really given a name in the story) picks his younger daughter and her lover (Papa's closest friend, also a famous poet) up from dinner. As they begin their long drive through the French countryside, Papa informs them that his intention is to crash the car at a considerably high speed, thus killing them all. The entire book is one long monologue by Papa, delivered to both his daughter Chantal and the poet Henri. Travesty is a fairly high concept novel. All of the characters in the story are French, and it is set in Paris. Stylistically, it reads like an English translation of a novel by Camus or Gide. Apparently, this is supposed to be Hawke's version of the Fall. This is certainly a book that suffers from formal restrictions, which seems to make it an accessible read in comparison with most of Hawke's books. At only a paragraph into the story, the reader already knows what is going to happen. Papa is the only character who's side of the story the reader hears. After realizing these two aspects of the story, it's really just a matter of listening to Papa explain why he has decided to commit such a psychopathic act. In fact, the exposition in the beginning is so immediate that one feels as if they are sitting in the back seat of the car with Chantal.Papa spends most of the monologue attempting to paradoxically dance around definitions of murder, suicide, ethics, etc. He explains, very much in a Camusesque fashion, that the awareness that all of them have of their impending doom is a privilege, one that few mortal beings on this planet have. The problem with this is that there is no beating around the bush here; what he is doing is immoral, he is murdering his own daughter and his best friend. What are their respective crimes anyway? Well, not much really. Chantal sleeps around a lot, referred to early on as "our little porno-brat". Henri has had an affair with Honorine (Chantal's mother), and he is currently fucking Chantal. So they are sinful, but from what Papa tells us, his lifestyle isn't exactly pious. His outrage seems to stem from jealousy more than anything else. Yes, one does get the impression that he wants to fuck his own daughter. However, this is a novel that can be interpreted in a number of ways. In a sense, I thought that Papa's character could be construed as god. He is judging these two people based on sinful acts. He is in control of their lives. His convictions seem very religious in ways, not to mention somewhat hypocritical. Yet another perspective I considered was that maybe Henri and Papa are the same character. Henri essentially acting as a metaphor for the main character's failures and sins. It's an interesting concept, but it just seems to result in bland attempt at literary homage. Hawkes is talented at adjusting his style here, and there are some lovely descriptions of the French countryside. I like the juxtaposition between that and the essentially horrifying, rather hermetic environment of the automobile. Unfortunately, once the general premise is understood (which is immediately), and the homage is recognized, Travesty just becomes an insufferable rant by one character, who throughout the novel doesn't really seem to justify his actions with reasonable enough conviction. But maybe that is the point here?

  • Larou
    2018-10-23 06:42

    This is a… strange little book. And I mean that in the best possible way.[return][return]The set-up seems simple enough – we’re inside a car for the whole duration of this short novel, together with its driver, his daughter Chantal and his friend, the poet Henri – who incidentally is the lover of not only the car driver’s daughter but also of his wife. Said driver is also the narrator of Travesty and he is one of the most deeply unlikeable characters to ever fill that function. And that is not just because he plans to kill himself as well as his passengers by driving the car against a barn but also because he is a mean-spirited, monstrously egotistical philistine with (so far as I could tell) no redeeming features whatsoever. Unlike comparable narrator-villains (Humbert Humbert comes to mind most strongly) the narrator of Travesty does not require to seduce his audience (seeing as it is already quite literally captive) nor does he feel the need to justify himself to anyone, as he is quite convinced of being absolutely in the right. It comes as no surprise then that the narrator tells us mostly about himself and what a great guy he is, with the other characters mere supporting cast hovering barely visible on the edge of the stage.[return][return]It is never quite made explicit what the “Travesty” of the novel’s title refers to – while the narrator does mention an event in his past, that is not really helpful (at least not with some interpretative effort), and it seems likely that this is left intentionally ambiguous for the reader to figure out. My own take on this is that it refers to the narrator’s recurring attempts to make his planned murder-cum-suicide as a work of art – in fact, one rather suspects that the purpose of this premeditated car crash is so that the narrator can present as a better artist than his friend the poet, and lacking any real talent now engages in a grotesque and bloody act of one-upmanship. Not that this would mean criticism of the narrator by way of implicit auctorial comment, and this brings us to the point where I think this small novel is really remarkable – because the author (and it does not really matter whether you consider that to be the John Hawkes whose name appears on the cover of the novel or another fictional character implied in its narrative) manages to turn this travesty into a work of art, in spite of the narrator and behind his back, so to speak. While the novel’s set-up is entirely possible and realistic, the narrator’s voice is decidedly not – nobody would actually talk like this while driving a car, much less one that is going at high speed on a nocturnal country road. The narrative voice is not realistic at all but highly artifical, it is controlled by the author rather than the narrator, and it is the author rather than the narrator who time and again introduces a trenchant observation or a scinillating bit of prose, slipping them in under the narrator’s radar, so to speak. Which makes for a weird, unsettling reading experience, the text apparently slipping out of focus repeatedly, only to snap into brilliant clarity at the most unexpected moments.

  • Guille
    2018-10-29 06:10

    Lo primero es lo primero: me ha encantado este inmenso libro de 119 páginas. Inmenso no solo por su belleza; inmenso por todos los mundos que encierra. No es un libro fácil. Es un relato críptico, uno de esos libros en los que se hace más verdad que nunca aquello de que cada novela es el resultado final de la combinación entre escritura y lectura y, por tanto, única para cada lector. Es de esas novelas en las que uno no sabe a qué atenerse; la línea entre lo que puede ser una ficción realista y una auténtica melopea alucinatoria es difusa. Hay una frase casi al final del libro en el que el protagonista del relato le dice a su acompañante y víctima: “Confía en mí, pero no me creas.” Y no es la única que nos pone en guardia acerca de la veracidad del narrador. ¿Estamos ante un relato en presente de lo que está sucediendo? ¿Estamos ante la catarsis de un hombre engañado que fantasea con lo que cobardemente es incapaz de realizar? ¿Estamos ante un loco, un artista, un hombre desesperado? Qué más da, todo eso o nada y otra cosa; el propio relato es una gozada: la descripción que hace del resultado imaginado del accidente, el amor que desprende el retrato que hace de su mujer, la sensualidad de sus experiencias con su amante Monique o la anécdota del chiringuito de playa... esos versos finales del libro:“En algún lugar deben de seguir El rostro no visto de ella, su voz no oída.”

  • R.
    2018-11-20 07:53

    Basic idea is that a guy goes mad - delivers a rambling monologue that's supposed to be an erotic revery of his wife - and drives through the night with hostages -his daughter, her lover - towards a crash, the explosion of which will awaken his wife from her sleep. Robert Coover wrote a preface to one of the editions, so you know that at least you are in the hands of an expert driver. Update: Not bad, but not mindblowing. Robert Coover owed somebody a favor, I suppose.

  • Cooper Cooper
    2018-11-02 08:56

    This book is a variation on the récit genre—that is, an extended monologue by a single narrator; it differs from the récit in that the narrative does not address the reader directly, but rather other (invisible and silent) characters in the story—in the tradition of Camus’ The Fall, to which Travesty owes one of its epigraphs and which it greatly resembles—whether in admiring emulation or in outright parody (“travesty”) I’m not quite sure, because I know almost nothing about Hawkes or his intentions as a writer. In any event, Hawkes writes very well line-for-line, and he employs an ingenious technique for sustaining suspense: the entire monologue takes place while the narrator is speeding recklessly through the French countryside at night, with his daughter in the back seat and his best friend beside him, a man who, in happy Gallic fashion (all are French), is the lover of the narrator’s wife and also of his daughter. Much of the narrative concerns itself with the reason the narrator intends to terminate their late-night excursion with a top-speed crash into an old stone barn. He makes it clear that this desperate-seeming action is driven not by anything as mundane as jealousy, but rather by purely existential motives—for example, since all must perish anyway, instead of hanging on only to die badly why not choose one’s time and go out joyously in one’s own way? Some of his other arguments, more convoluted, seem to me somewhat far-fetched (if I understand them at all). The back jacket capsules the book as …“an icily comic portrait of the poet as suicide and murderer.” Not exactly how I would describe it. But it’s a very good book. A sample of the writing: A trifle faster? Yes, you are quite right that we are now traveling a breath or two faster than we were. Now is the moment when I must make my ultimate demands. As you can see, my arms are stiffening, my fingers are flexing though I never remove my palms from the wheel, my concentrating face is abnormally white, and now, like many men destined for the pleasures and perils of high-speed driving, now my mouth is working in subtle consort with eyes, hands, feet, so that my silent lips are moving with the car itself, as if I am now talking as well as driving us to our destination. And we are approaching it, that final destination of ours. We are drawing near. Soon we shall be entering the perimeter of Honorine’s most puzzling and yet soothing dream. And now beneath the hood of the car our engine is glowing as red as an immense ruby. How unfortunate that to us it is invisible. How unfortunate that the rain is determined to keep pace with our journey.

  • Zach
    2018-10-24 03:53

    at a little under 130 pp, still a very slow read for me. for a while i was wondering if hawkes's central idea was actually interesting. the narrator's flowery, exquisitely prepared monologue seemed odd within the confines of a speeding deathtrap, but I guess I've come to expect sparse prose in transgressive fiction (if you can call this transgressive), and i suppose it suits the (underdeveloped) precept of cataclysm-as-conceptual-art that the narrator upholds. the book does, however, gain a lot of steam near the end when hawkes finally, sustainedly separates himself from concept repetition and gives the reader a torrent of intriguing, odd passages that justify its floridity.

  • Ferris
    2018-11-09 08:00

    What is the meaning of travesty? A travesty is literary or artistic composition so inferior in quality as to be merely a grotesque imitation of its model. John Hawkes' novella is a poetic travesty. The driver of a luxury sports car, an upper class intellectual, has decided to commit the ultimate poetic act. Is it because his wife is his poet best friend's mistress? Is it because his daughter is mistress to the same poet? You will have to join the threesome on this ride to death to determine the meaning of the driver's choice for yourself. I could feel the wind in my hair on this ride through a rainy night in southern France. Do you dare?

  • Lisa
    2018-11-21 10:54

    Creepy but compelling. Can't help but wonder what made John Hawkes imagine a book with this premise: a man is driving in a car with his best friend and his daughter and the monologue is the narrator/driver listing out the many indignities he has suffered by his friend who has taken both his wife and his 20-year old daughter as his lovers. He is so hateful of everyone he loves. Short and not sweet.

  • Tobias
    2018-10-22 12:06

    Quite liked this -- probably my favorite of the three Hawkes books I've read. Looking forward to checking out the Dalkey Archive reprint of "The Passion Artist" in the not-so-distant future.

  • Mac
    2018-11-21 10:05

    If you've ever wondered what it was like to ride around in a car with me, read this book.

  • Cole
    2018-11-17 06:03

    3.5 Stars. This book is weird but cool in many ways. The way this insane car ride tells through subtext an entire relationship between this "family" is ingenious. Worthy of a read if you enjoy experimental narrative structures

  • Kevin Adams
    2018-11-11 06:57

    A fast paced thrill ride of a novel. This was fantastic. Novels like this are written anymore let alone read. That’s a shame. I look forward to reading more and more of John Hawkes.

  • Steve Mitchell
    2018-11-16 06:42

    Dialogue of the Skin: John Hawkes’ TravestyYou’re hurtling across a dark European countryside at dangerous speeds. Your driver boasts of his wish to kill himself, you, and his young daughter by soon plowing the car into a rock wall across a gorge. He’s driving too fast on roads too narrow for you to attack him at the wheel. To make it worse, like a villain in a James Bond film, he insists on telling you every way you’ve offended him, every detail of your impending death, interspersed with events from his own life. On top of that, he occasionally refers to you as cher ami in the snarkiest tone possible.This is the torturously small, dark and barbed world of John Hawkes’ Travesty. Sounds like a fun place, right?In Travesty, our narrator, a self described ‘privileged man’ has trapped a poet, his best friend, and his young daughter in the speeding car. He accuses the poet, in the seat next to him, of having affairs with both his wife and daughter. He wants to kill the three of them, leaving his wife to suffer but not before he states his case. He’s not defending himself, mind you, he’s simply laying out the inevitability and superior position of his own plan.Because our narrator, so he says, knows everything. He knows every thought and feeling you might have and he finds them wanting. He’s examined every passion in his life dispassionately and can see each, like a bloodstain on a slide, with a perfect and pure vision. He bears no grudges and sees no real fault from the heights of his position. He’s ‘privileged’ that way.These are things he explains as the engine roars around you and the black road flows by beneath. He explains it to you, the poet, the lover, his best friend. But he’s also explaining it you, the reader. Because you, the reader, are implicated. You, the reader, are being addressed directly. It is you who have violated both him and his world.Yes, dead passion is the most satisfying, cher ami. You have hinted as much in your verses.Dead passion is all our narrator has and so he must place it in a vaulted position. He’s lost the passion of his wife, a passion for his daughter, and the passion for a young mistress he remembers fondly but eventually abuses. He has attained his ‘privileged’ position by marrying his wife, a detail slowly revealed; but he has assumed it totally. It’s a position where everything is property and all people are objects. You, the best friend, the reader, are an object too and he has chosen what he believes to be a fitting end for you. But first, you must listen to him talk a bit more. He’s not justfying himself, mind you, he’s simply explaining your current position of helplessness at his hand.What I have in mind is an ‘accident’ so perfectly contrived that it will be unique, spectacular and instantaneous, a physical counterpart to that vision in which it was in fact conceived.Because, you see, our narrator is an artist, though his artistry might be overlooked or misconstrued. Unlike the mere poet in the seat next to him, our narrator aspires to more than simply words on paper and must be appreciated for those aspirations. So he says.When a phrase like ‘tears of poison’ slips from his mouth something is revealed our narrator probably doesn’t want us to see. He is not hurt. Of course not. He is above such petty concerns. The affairs of his wife and daughter are simply minor obstacles to be dealt with, like gassing the car or buying a newspaper. He does not feel the vile emotions commoners might. He is ‘privileged.’ So he says.Still, it’s important for him to talk to you. It’s not a conversation though, it’s more like a lesson. And he’s not justifying himself, no, those in the right never need to. It’s more that he’s condescending to an explanation in the way you might explain to a dog that it was about to be put down.Hawkes’ genius in this book is to capture the voice---really the novel rests almost entirely on the voice of the narrator---the rhythm, the subtleties of phrasing, and the micro-reveals in which we see his true motivations, those moments when we glimpse what our narrator cannot himself see.As the car accelerates, whipping loosely around curves and rattling between the stone walls of a small village, you can’t believe for a moment that you might escape this discourse on the illusion of power and the pathetic avoidance of powerlessness. You’ll have to listen to every word, as your captor explains the brilliant reasons for his, and your, impending immolation.But you’re the reader. What do you want from a novel? A fast paced story with emotional beats and a climax of redemption? A parlor mystery that assures you villains always come to bad ends? A tale that reinforces your pre-existing values again and again? Or an oblique character study of privilege, acid-black and comic? That’s what you have here.You can get in the car or you can beg off, either way it’s up to you. But, in the world of John Hawkes, don’t believe for a moment you won’t be judged for your decision.

  • Jason
    2018-11-06 04:44

    It would be lovely if Travesty were somebody's last novel. Because it is a suicide note. Rather, a suicide screed. But a monologue. We are led to believe - in a manner that is not really credible, but in no way needs to be - that the text is being delivered verbally by the perpetrator of an imminent murder-suicide to one of his victims. A ghastly business, this. Undeniably. Business for which I am steadfastly in the market. I have read most of Hawkes' novels written up to the point of Travesty. And Travesty is a magnificent departure. His earlier books are extremely opiated, fuzzy, groggy, about as easy to get a grip on as water. Travesty is blunt. Bluntforce. You can grasp it like a cudgel. It is officially my favourite Hawkes (the previous favourite having been the underrated Death, Sleep, and the Traveler which is the one that perhaps-not-surprisingly came out right before this one and was, before this one, the least slippery I had read (although maybe my favourite remains The Cannibal, a book that feels like a whole career unto itself)). I have been fascinated by all the early Hawkes stuff. But this fascination has always been at least a little bit married to bafflement. I am not entirely sure how he produces the effects he produces. Or maybe even why he goes about it like he does. I have always been slightly mystified, but compulsively drawn to him. But Travesty is just so obviously just purely a dark and mean and wonderful little treasure. Every good suicide is a kind of apocalypse. And though Travesty is merely a microapocalypse, IT IS WILDLY APOCALYPTIC. And the narrator is wondrously vile. You kinda have to like that sort of thing. Also: probably needs to be read as an indictment of the French character. Heh.

  • Haley
    2018-11-08 10:41

    That was a chore. Forewarning, this book is nothing short of the manifesto of a man unhinged. Where do I start? I'm a sucker for "one act" books. I thought I'd love this, set all behind the wheel of a sports car speeding toward its doom. I was wrong. I assure you that you can safely skim this book and not miss a single thing, chiefly because nothing happens. This is a tough read. It's short, very short, but feels like a marathon. Having put it down, it's hard to make yourself pick it back up. Now, for the writing. This is pretty amazing. It feels as though John Hawkes didn't create this character, but lived his life. Stepped into his mind. I'm frightened for him, actually. I can't imagine any sane person capable of portraying such a deeply unhinged person. But he does. He does. There is simply far too much of it. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone as it was an awful waste of my time, however my one star is reserved for truly awful concepts and romance novels, *gag* and this is neither.

  • Littlebrit
    2018-11-11 08:44

    I read this book because it was a "Book Club Choice". I would not have chosen it myself and sadly, I did not really enjoy it. For me, the only recommendations I could give was that this book is extremely well written and that it is set in a highly imaginative way such that it leaves the story open to almost limitless and very different interpretations. But, for me, the central character is totally unsympathetic and uninteresting, and the story itself, again in my opinion, could have been completed in a small fraction of the space that this author uses. That, plus the very repetitive nature of the contents of the narrative, rendered this little book, for me, a real disappointment.

  • Adam
    2018-11-05 05:50

    This slim novel covers some of the same ground as J.G. Ballard's Crash, but focuses less on the medical, scientific, and technological aspects of auto accident deaths and more on the psychological depths of a man who plans to take his friend and daughter to their deaths in a car wreck. Although Hawkes was American, his prose often reads like a dry English translation of a French writer such as Camus or Sartre. (And Hawkes actually found much greater fame in France than he ever did in the United States.) Travesty, which is told from the point of view of a single, unstable narrator, is a brilliant exploration of sex, death, duality, and incestuous desire.

  • Lindsay
    2018-11-22 12:09

    A strange little novel, but an interesting, short read. You may find yourself asking "what's the point?" in the course of reading--and if so you're pretty much answering your own question in the process. The relationship between the random universe vs. the ordered, predestined universe (and which one you believe in) is really crucial to the novel, and probably the most fascinating thing to consider in the process of reading.

  • Slickdpdx
    2018-11-16 03:41

    A short, twisted, monologue. I liked it, but I also admit I read it as a bit of literate farce. Hawkes must have intended the farce. The narrator is ridiculous, repellent, comically Gallic. If there is anything serious about it (aside from the finely-tuned writing) its that Hawkes is the poet in the front passenger seat and this is his greatest fear. As he gets older, he finds himself in the driver's seat...

  • Matt Adkins
    2018-10-23 07:52

    Surprised by how much I liked this. Essentially a monologue, or a half a conversation... But there's some nicely turned phrases on nearly every page, & story holds your attention. Details would only spoil it, but there's a fair amount of suspense as well (although the not-clearly-delineated finish will leave some unsatisfied. )

  • James
    2018-11-11 05:03

    Odd and enjoyable. This 90-page novella takes place in a speeding car. The driver is a Frenchman who's decided to kill himself, his daughter, and his son-in-law by driving the car into a brick wall at a very high speed. There's no narrative or dialog; the entire text of the story is the man's crazed melodramatic soliloquy as he speeds toward his destination.

  • Adam
    2018-10-29 04:56

    Another of Hawkes’ unbearable narrators. The monologue of poet as he drives his car containing him and his daughter and her lover to his aesthetically approved suicide/murder. Similar territory to Ballard’s Crash and Camus’ The Stranger.

  • Sean
    2018-11-04 12:05

    Three people in a car hurtling through rural France. Only the driver speaks. Read it to find out what he says. (See also: a longer discussion of this book.)

  • Maddy
    2018-10-25 09:08

    Had the driver/narrator been the daughter this would have been much better.

  • Nate House
    2018-11-04 07:45

    One of the best literary thrillers ever!