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The Fascination of Evil (Pushkin Modern) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Fascination of Evil (Pushkin Modern) by Sue Dyson Florian Zeller...

When a young French author is invited to Egypt as a guest of Cairo's French Embassy, he anticipates a week of literary discussions and official dinners. He certainly does not foresee the extraordinary events that will lead to murder. His fellow author on the trip, Martin Millet, offends Islamic sensibilities with his views on art and literature, and worse: he searches obsessively for an Egyptian woman willing to have sex with him. When Millet disappears, his friend's worst fears are realised, and he is plunged into an Egypt very different from the one he imagined.

Florian Zeller is arguably France's most famous 26-year-old. He is the author of three critically acclaimed novels; the recipient of numerous literary awards; a university lecturer; and a television presenter. He has also written two plays, currently running in Paris. The Fascination of Evil won the prestigious Prix Interallie and has sold over 70,000 copies in France.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.48" Width: 4.88" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   0.49 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2006
Publisher   Pushkin Paper
ISBN  1901285650  
ISBN13  9781901285659  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sue Dyson Florian Zeller

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > French
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
6Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
7Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

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Houellebecq pretty boy style  Dec 25, 2006
Florian Zeller is, according to the various blurbs, France's most famous twenty six year old. (Yes, I hadn't heard of him either) but apparently he is causing a huge storm in France following the publication of this novel which has sold some 70,000 copies.

He is compared to Milan Kundera, but that is generous. The real influence on his narrative themes and style seems to be Michel Houellebecq. And indeed, The Fascination of Evil features many of the themes that Houellebecq writes about - modern sexual relations, late period capitalism and Islam. Zeller is a sort of Houellebecq lite, as he tells a straightforward story of a handsome narrator (who could be Florian Zeller - take a look at his photo inside the jacket with his tousled haystack of blonde hair and bee stung lips - he looks more teen pin up than intellectual writer) who goes to a book fair in Cairo with an ugly yet commercially acclaimed fellow author Martin Millet (who resembles Houellebecq). The pair entangle with local embassy figures, and Martin goes of on a high octane, relentless pursuit of whores, which lands him in trouble. Martin vanishes - and subsequently his situation (and regrettably, the plot, credibility and style of the novel) collapses into dangerous turbulence.

The Fascination of Evil is not a bad novel. It contains several strophes that encapsulate the morality of the twenty something generation in advanced capitalist societies very acutely, for instance:

'It's the telephone, and in particular the mobile, that has killed off the art of letter-writing once and for all. I often think of those women who lived in hope, with the pledge of one single love letter, when the other person, for example, went off to war. Back then, words had a formidable strength, since they decided lives...Today you start panicking the moment you can't get that other person on your mobile. What's he doing? Why isn't she answering? Who's he with? Anxiety has gained ground. We have entered a period of no return that signals the end of waiting, that is, of trust and of silence.'

Nice, profound. But that is about the extent of it. Zeller reminded me of mediocrite British, Francophile philosopher-writer Alain de Botton with his swift, brisk middlebrow style and quasi-learned references to Flaubert and Valery. Kundera, he aint, and if you want a harsh and controversial depiction of western sexual mores, you are better off with the more talented Houellebecq.

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