Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Sunday, January 15th 2012

10:04 PM

Underground Time, by Delphine de Vigan

 

Underground Time

by Delphine de Vigan

I'm in a quandary as to whether or not to recommend this one.  On the one hand, the prose is absolutely stunning.  It somehow manages to be lyrical, while gritty and starkly realistic at the same time.  And the storyline is an interesting, albeit depressing, one.  Definitely not the book to read if you're in the mood for a uplifting, feel-good sort of read.  It is an introspective novel of the highest order, so if it's action you're looking for, this is not the book for you.  However, that being said, the entire time I was reading Underground Time, I kept thinking that it was a very worthy read because of how well it was written, and because there was this simmering element of suspense that managed to keep the pages turning.  The reason I'm hesitating to recommend it is because it is one of those books you will most likely throw at the wall after having made an investment of several hours and more than a few emotional connections.

Obviously, there is something to this book, as it was shortlisted for France's prestigious Prix Goncourt. The superior writing would explain a lot of that, I'm sure.  And, there will always be the critics who are extremely impressed with a writer who does not choose a happy, predictable ending.  However, in my opinion, when a writer builds toward something, spells it out clearly for the reader, then it should come to fruition in a hopeful manner.  I felt the ending was a cop out, even if it did mesh with the depressing plot line.  This is one book I would have given anything to see end predictably, or at least with a spark of hope.  Instead, we're left with zilch, no hope, nada.

The story tells the tale of Mathilde, a forty-year-old widow, who's being bullied by her boss at work.  She made the mistake of contradicting him at a meeting, and he is now slowly, methodically working at not only ruining her career, but also tearing her confidence, as well as her life, to shreds.  This is corporate bullying at its nastiest.  It's heartwrenching to read, but intriguing at the same time.  The boss, Jacques, is a real piece of work, and his maniacal vendetta is so ridiculous, it's almost genius.  Many will wish that Mathilde would stand up to him, though he's so vindictively rotten, you'll also understand why she's afraid to do just that.

In a parallel plot line, Thibault is a lonely doctor, making emergency house calls in the city of Paris.  He's just broken up with Lila, a woman he, admittedly, loved too much.  Problem was, she was completely emotionless, unable to love him or show any reason why he should stick around (other than for the sex).  He's known for several months that their relationship was toxic, but finally made the break on May 20.

May 20 is a signicant date for Mathilde, as well, since it's the date that a pricey psychic told her would be life altering for her. Thus, the waiting begins for the life-changing event that is to occur on that day. We see snippets of Mithilde's day, as she arrives late to work (the trains weren't running properly), only to find her spacious, bright office has been taken from her, given to a new employee, and she's been moved to a small, windowless storage area, right next to the men's bathroom. Not a very auspicious beginning to a day she had been anticipating for some time. 

Meanwhile, Thibault's world has turned from full color to black and white, as he mourns the loss of a woman he deeply loved.  We see the city through his eyes, in all it's dinginess and despair, as he makes his rounds, performing a job he once loved, but which no longer offers any contentment.  Like Mathilde, he's at the end of a very long rope, ready to crumble at any given moment.  In fact, the storylines of the two sometimes mirror each other to the extent that they have the exact same thoughts, word for word, at similar points in their depressing days.  Realistic?  Maybe, not.  Effective?  Very.

Needless to say, the reader will assume that Mathilde and Thibault will meet at some point on May 20.  Otherwise, why open the story with the psychic's prediction, and then proceed to tell every detail of Mathilde and Thibault's day? Maybe it's just me, but I did expect they'd be each other's savior, at least in some small way.  Guess maybe I've read one too many romance novels (not that that's possible!); however, in whatever genre I'm reading, I do expect a writer to follow through with unspoken, but very real, promises.  As I said, why bother comparing Mathilde and Thibault's day, only to have it mean so little in the end.  (Notice, I'm not saying whether they do or don't meet?)  Enough said.

So, you can clearly see why I'm hesitating to recommend Underground Time.  It's beautifully written and offers an array of worthy insights.  I just wish I had a solid reason for having invested the time--like an ending that was less realistic and more uplifting.  Hell, I'd even have settled for a grain of hope or a dim light at the end of the underground tunnel.

Bonnie Crisalli

 

 

 

 

 

30 Comment(s).

Posted by game slot pulsa telkomsel:

Winpalace88 merupakan tempat dimana anda bisa menemukan game mesin slot online terbaik. Saat ini telah tersedia ratusan jenis game mesin slot yang bisa anda mainkan dengan menggunakan PC, laptop, ataupun smartphone anda.

Di Winpalace88, anda sudah bisa bermain slot dengan menggunakan pulsa XL dan Telkomsel maupun aplikasi pembayaran online seperti OVO, Dana, dan LinkAja. Hanya dengan melakukan deposit minimal senilai 25.000 rupiah, anda bisa langsung bermain.

Jika anda ingin mengetahui lebih banyak tentang situs game slot Winpalace88, silahkan kunjungi situs-situs resmi Winpalace88 yang terse
918kiss
download aplikasi 918kiss
download aplikasi pussy888
situs daftar 918kiss
cara login 918kiss
deposit slot pulsa
cara withdraw 918kiss
deposit 918kiss slot
livechat slot 918kiss
situs resmi daftar 918kiss
daftar slot 918kiss
918kiss deposit ovo
daftar slot pussy888
daftar
Tuesday, October 1st 2019 @ 4:20 PM

Posted by rachman:

lumberjocks
pearltrees
Monday, August 19th 2019 @ 8:47 AM

Posted by arief:

Posted by Kontraktor Kolam Renang:

Thanks for your info guys. please check my website.
Jasa Renovasi Kolam Renang
Toko Mozaik Kolam Renang

Thank You !!!
Wednesday, August 14th 2019 @ 4:21 AM

Posted by Manfaat Internet Secara Umum:

Nice information this blog cool for me
Thursday, July 25th 2019 @ 6:07 AM

Posted by Anak Pejaten:

Latest news from Indonesia includingSBY

Latest news from Indonesia includingSusi Pudjiastuti

Latest news from Indonesia includingGanjar Prabowo

Latest news from Indonesia includingGibran Rakabuming

Latest news from Indonesia includingIriana Jokowi

Latest news from Indonesia includingWiranto

Latest news from Indonesia includingPolri

Latest news from Indonesia includingLowongan Kerja

Latest news from Indonesia includingHarga Emas

Latest news from Indonesia includingTimnas Indonesia
Thursday, July 25th 2019 @ 1:27 AM

Posted by arief:

blogoo
blogoo
konten kecil
konten kecil
Wednesday, July 17th 2019 @ 5:47 AM

Posted by jasaweb:

Nice
jasa pembuatan website
Monday, July 15th 2019 @ 2:19 AM

Posted by jasa pembuatan website:

Good job
Monday, July 15th 2019 @ 2:17 AM

Posted by Virosiska Faus:

Is that really a great Novel? You know that reading novel requires quite long time. If the story was so bad, it would be a waste of time.
tembak ikan online
peraturan baccarat
winpalace88
mobile link sbobet
download aplikasi s128
download aplikasi sabung ayam s128
instal apk s128
indomaxbet
play1628
slot deposit pulsa
Sunday, July 14th 2019 @ 5:02 PM

Posted by Kerajinan furniture:

i agree
Wednesday, May 29th 2019 @ 2:38 PM

Posted by kayu sawo:

This is good artikle
Wednesday, May 29th 2019 @ 2:36 PM

Posted by Kursi kayu sawo:

good idea man
Wednesday, May 29th 2019 @ 2:34 PM

Posted by Lemari buku minimalis:

i like it
Wednesday, May 29th 2019 @ 2:30 PM

Posted by ataeh:

mantul banget
Tuesday, May 28th 2019 @ 5:00 PM

Posted by ramuan herbal bronkitis:

This is a great inspiring .I am pretty much pleased with your good work
Saturday, April 27th 2019 @ 5:06 AM

Posted by Jasa pembuatan booth pameran:

Posted by Balung Cilik:

Ahli Kunci Jakarta


Ahli Kunci Jabodetabek
Friday, March 22nd 2019 @ 5:36 AM

Posted by togelmbah:

pengeluaran sgp

pengeluaran hk

togel singapore
Tuesday, February 26th 2019 @ 8:52 AM

Posted by Dipan mewah:

Good idea
Tuesday, January 22nd 2019 @ 9:25 PM

Posted by LEMARI MINIMALIS:

Jual lemari minimalis jati paling murah dan bergaransi
Saturday, January 19th 2019 @ 11:09 AM

Posted by KURSI TAMU MINIMALIS:

Jual kursi minimalis jati murah jepara
Saturday, January 19th 2019 @ 11:07 AM

Posted by DIPAN JATI:

Goo idea i like it, by Dipan jati indonesia.
Saturday, January 19th 2019 @ 11:05 AM

Posted by bangluq:

thanks for sharing "knowledgeispower"
Sunday, January 13th 2019 @ 3:04 AM

Posted by adistaherbal:

thank you for the information about the technology ... this info really helped me ... I also knew a lot about technology
Friday, November 23rd 2018 @ 11:39 PM

Posted by nawi212:

Posted by Cara Menghilangkan Iklan Di HP Android:

Nice information thanks for share
Thursday, November 15th 2018 @ 3:37 AM

Post New Comment

No Smilies More Smilies »