Our Beautiful Heroine

Our Beautiful Heroine This lightweight but appealing romantic mystery in which the crime is never solved and the lovers never united is set in a bustling middle class Parisian neighborhood replete with butcher shop bakery

  • Title: Our Beautiful Heroine
  • Author: Jacques Roubaud
  • ISBN: 9780879512903
  • Page: 335
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This lightweight but appealing romantic mystery in which the crime is never solved and the lovers never united is set in a bustling middle class Parisian neighborhood replete with butcher shop, bakery, produce market and peopled with a spirited group of opinionated busybodies These include the narrator George Mornacier, an ardent girl watcher and astute observer of the huThis lightweight but appealing romantic mystery in which the crime is never solved and the lovers never united is set in a bustling middle class Parisian neighborhood replete with butcher shop, bakery, produce market and peopled with a spirited group of opinionated busybodies These include the narrator George Mornacier, an ardent girl watcher and astute observer of the human scene Bertrand Eusebe, an innocently lecherous grocer Madame Crussant, the goodhearted baker and Monsieur Orsell, scholar and philosopher These voluble neighbors are preoccupied with the whereabouts of the heir to the kingdom of oil rich Poldevia, young Prince Gormanskoi, missing for two years since a state visit to France Also dominating the neighborhood s interest is the identity of the perpetrator of the hardware store horrors, acts of vandalism against 52 hardware stores carrying plaster Poldevian statuettes When Hortense, a voluptuous student long admired by Eusebe and George, meets a young man with dark, noble features and long, delicate hands, a uniquely chronicled chain of events ensues that leads to the identification of the missing prince, a passionate liaison ending in marriage and the trial of the hardware store vandal all with unexpected results Although it is sometimes sidetracked by tedious digression and much of Kornacker s translation is clumsily phrased, this is basically a vigorous and agreeable work.

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      Posted by:Jacques Roubaud
      Published :2018-03-04T13:18:31+00:00

    One thought on “Our Beautiful Heroine”

    1. Oozes wit and charm. Though essentially frivolous, the meta-playfulness of the detective story and its exposed workings (Geoff's picture of the Pompidou Center, nearly as relevant here as for The Great Fire of London), the conflicts between narrator, author, and editor, the almost Robbe-Grillean spatial attention all add their diversions. The only thing it lacks, even among its entire neighborhood of cast members, is a proper protagonist -- though we're told right in the title that Hortense is b [...]

    2. “And the furious storm of autumnal equinox has begun. Badly closed shutters started clapping and the counting of wreckage commenced. (for the other details look in the books by Victor Hugo and Joseph Conrad).”Generally speaking, Our Beautiful Heroine belongs to the genre of detective fiction – it is an ironic intellectual mystery exclusively unusual in all its aspects.It contains plenty of exotically mocking outings into philosophy, literature, music, arts, geopolitics and pseudo-history.I [...]

    3. From Ch. 10 on navigating the obstacles set up to prevent readers getting their desired books from the library stacks - "if, for example Hortense wished to read Pierrot Mon Ami by Raymond Queneau, she had to know when the book had been acquired, not when it was published (that would have been too easy); for each section of the alphabet there was a volume located in a perfectly random part of the room and good only for certain years. One had to find the appropriate volume, look up the author, loo [...]

    4. Finally, it was nice to read the first story in the trilogy! (it's a shame that Dalkey Archive can't get the rights to publish the English version); I thoroughly enjoyed this and feel it may be much stronger in character, description and overall prose. The view of the neighborhood became clearer to me so that i wish i could have read the books in the proper order. Roubaud is definitely capable of such a wide range of thought and i appreciate how his mind works and how that proceeds to make its w [...]

    5. A playful, self-aware mystery novel in which the central mystery ultimately takes a back seat to the writing. This was a very fun read - it was littered with author's notes, narrator's notes, publisher's notes (sometimes attacking each other), characters referring to specifics within the book ("Take out your maps from Chapter 7.") and comments on writing, novels, philosophy and mysteries in general.The book would probably be disappointing to someone looking for a genuine mystery.

    6. A surprisingly funny & unusual mystery. Set in small-town France, it's a fun read - both silly & intelligent.

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