Friday, 28 October 2011

The Lover

This book by Marguerite Duras tells the autobiographic story of a 15 year old girl, living in South East Asia, who becomes some kind of mistress for the son of a Chinese business man, who fells in love with her when he first meets her on a ferry. At first, they only meet on a social basis, going for dinner, for a walk... One day he takes her into a flat somewhere in the busy streets of the town, and makes love to her. She more or less becomes addicted to him, firstly because of experiencing an immense sensation of lust, secondly because he can provide her with the money her family no longer has.
But the "love" story is not the only part of the book (contrary to the movie), instead the main focus is on her family, with her crazy mother, her younger and her older brother, the problems they face due to the depression her mother suffers from, the problems that occur because all the money is gone.
She also is confronted with racial problems, her being white, him being a Chinese.

The story is told in a very strange way... Sometimes it is a first person narrative, sometimes Duras speaks about herself in the third person, the plot is not told in a linear way, but jumps from here to there, from this time to that time. Hardly any names are told (apart from a school friend), she only refers to "him", "his father", "her younger brother", "her older brother" All that made the book a rather hard one to read.
I had high expectations but they where not met. I am actually quite disappointed by the book, which can be reasoned because I like the movie very much, and well, the movie focusses on the love story, the book focusses on her family, which characters are strange, and not really like-able.

All in all... I am not going to rate this book. Please feel free to post your opinion!

Coming up next "Kai Meyer: Arkadien fällt"

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