Underground Time by Delphine de Vigan (Nov. 22, 2011)

Have you ever had a bad boss?  (Wait a minute, isn’t that a stupid question?)  The main female character in this novel has a truly horrific one.  I mean, REALLY bad.  Vindictive like you wouldn’t believe.  Except, most of us can, in fact, believe the inexorable, fated decline of a working relationship that, because of its power differential and he-said-she-said trap, is impossible to put the brakes on.  You try everything, but there is nothing to be done.  There is a nihilism to this novel, something the French seem to be generally good at (if you need optimism in your fiction, you might want to stay away).  The translation by George Miller does nothing to detract from the easy flow and poignancy of de Vigan’s writing (and that is all I ask of a translation: to not make me think, oooh, this is obviously a translation).  I was drawn in to the downward spiral and could not put the book down.  The possibilities of a romance, as well as the humor inherent in life events that are simply too sureally bad not to laugh, keep this book from being a Debbie Downer.  I found it true to life.  Actually, truer in many ways than a factual account.  And isn’t that the mark of great fiction?


About Cheryl McNeil
I am the User Services Librarian at the Orangeburg Library in Orangeburg, NY

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