FIRST ORIGINAL EDITION: 1984
The love story of a fifteen-year-old French girl with a wealthy thirty-year-old Chinese man and, in the background, a family portrait, in the pre-war Indochina of the thirties.
WHY I READ IT:
I have seen the eponymous movie by the director Jean-Jacques Annaud many times; I didn’t know it was based on a book and, when I founf out, I got myself a copy.
As I said, I saw the movie several times because I loved the wonderful atmosphere of Indochina of the thirties and I have to say that every page of the book reminded me of the movie. The descriptions of the girl, her way of dressing, her attitude are the same I had already found in the movie that, whose content, for once, can be considered as excellent as the book. The love story between the poor young French girl and the rich Chinese man is as aching and passionate as I remembered. I just didn’t know that the book is autobiographical and the author has lived everything she talks about. It 's my first book by Duras and I must admit that I loved her style: basic, essential, there is never a word which is not necessary. It’s not easy to strike at the heart of the reader with just a few words, but did. The sultry heat of Saigon will stick on you, the black limousine that, every single day waits for the girl and the Chinese man sitting inside it always turning away, will soon become familiar to the reader, you will almost hear the noise of those gold lame shoes next to you. I discovered that Jean-Jacques Annaud has also directed some other movies I liked a lot such as "The Bear", "Seven Years in Tibet" and "The Name of the Rose" (from the famous book by Umberto Eco). The fact that I liked so much the movie based on this book can’t be a coincidence then. I think I will deepen the knowledge of this author reading something else by her. I definitely recommend you this book, 122 pages you’ll read in just one breath and always touching until the last line.