[epub PDF] Verre cassé BY Alain Mabanckou

Summary Verre cassé

Alain Mabanckou’s riotous new novel centers on the patrons of a run down bar in the Congo In a country that appears to have forgotten the importance of remembering a former schoolteacher and bar regular nicknamed Broken Glass has been elected to record their stories fo When on our way back from Mi dzyzdroje we had to wait in an enormous ueue to buy our train tickets my sister volunteered to take first turn while the rest of us sat on benches in the shadow When my friend went to relieve her my sister acted mysteriously she insisted she didn t mind ueuing and we could just go relax and leave her to it It was only when we were on the train when she told us that she was eavesdropping on a group of friends who were discussing dramatic events of the night before Occasionally real life with its unrestrained tales wins over literature because my sister preferred to be listening to their chattering rather than sitting on a bench and reading a book in peace Alain Mabanckou captured such free tale telling in its essence Broken Glass the narrator of the novel has been given a notebook by the owner of the bar he freuents and has been told to immortalise this drinking den for the benefit of the future generations Broken Glass is not the one to worry about the form Or punctuation Or strict plot rules He writes downs the stories as they come to him and as they are told by the man who wears Pampers the man who once lived in France or the man who the won the pissing contest In between all that we also hear Broken Glass s own story as sad as any story of a wasted life Our narrator eventually grows impatient with the task he has been burdened with With all the stories he is told to write and with all the people and their expectations As any other writer he uestions the point of it all and would probably become an alcoholic if he hadn t already been oneAt a first sight the narrative looks like chaotic ramblings of a drunkard but under this thin surface there lies a true treasure chest of various literary popcultural political and historical allusions It s like a wink from the author to the reader which almost bypasses the oblivious narrator There are so many hidden marvels that an average reader will probably pick up about one third of them I noticed all the titles of Mario Vargas Llosa s novels interwoven into Broken Glass s stream of consciousness My friend who studied French studies right away picked up the references to the history of francophone Africa I recommend this little number I enjoyed Mabanckou s little rebellion against what the world expects from post colonial African narrative

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Verre cassé

F delusion over self awareness Broken Glass drowns his sorrows in red wine and riffs on the great books of Africa and the West Brimming with life death and literary allusions Broken Glass is Mabanckou’s finest novel a mocking satire of the dangers of artistic integri An ex teacher denizen of Credit Gone West a seedy bar in the Congo is asked by the landlord to write down the stories of its patrons He does so filling a notebook with pen portraits and accounts of their various adventures It is scatological in the extreme one of the regulars wears pampers because of the damage done to him in prison the protagonist has flies following him after an unfortunate shitting incident a woman challenges a man to a pissing contest and there is a relish in the telling Sex usually cuckoldry features largely too Along the way acute observations are made on racism colonialism marriage class and poverty All this is interlaced with literary references particularly but not confined to French literature the novel is translated from the French Many titles are interwoven in the sentences and Holden Caulfield makes an appearance towards the end asking where do ducks go in winter I liked the first half funny high powered writing no full stops just part sentences btw but the second part where the focus turns to the narrator lost my interest a bit 35 stars rounded up

Alain Mabanckou Æ 8 review

R posterity But Broken Glass fails spectacularly at staying out of trouble as one denizen after another wants to rewrite history in an attempt at making sure his portrayal will properly reflect their exciting and dynamic lives Despondent over this apparent triumph of sel I found this book on The Guardian s recent list of The 100 Best Books of the 21st Century How lucky for me How lucky for you if you pick up a copy The book has a potent comical energy that powers the long sentences and paragraphs There s a 10 page set piece in the first half of the book that portrays some of the patrons of the Credit Gone West bar in Trois Cents competing in a literal piing contest Has to be read to be believed I won t spoil the second half It has a ton of heart It belongs on that Guardian list for sure


10 thoughts on “Verre cassé

  1. says:

    When on our way back from Międzyzdroje we had to wait in an enormous ueue to buy our train tickets my sister volunteered to take first turn while the rest of us sat on benches in the shadow When my friend went to relieve h

  2. says:

    This was a difficult book to read It is bit stream of consciousness from a man who is supposed to be recording about his life in a jo

  3. says:

    This book must be read in French I read a couple of excerpts translated into English and I honestly felt the rhythm the flow of the words the repetition of expressions and most certainly the humor of the book lacked their charm Yes it feels like the book of an erudite but that's precisely what the author is; one would not deride Eco for writing the way he does At the same time I was intrigued with this blurring of the truth; can

  4. says:

    I found this book on The Guardian's recent list of The 100 Best Books of the 21st Century How lucky for me How lucky for you if you pick up a copy The book has a potent comical energy that powers the long sentences and paragraphs There's a 10 page set piece in the first half of the book that portrays some of the patrons of the Credit Gone West bar in Trois Cents competing in a literal piing contest Has to be read to be believed I won't s

  5. says:

    If you aren’t scared off by the first page where you realize the entire novel is written without capital letters or end

  6. says:

    this is a novella written entirely without periods or capital letters at the beginnings of sentences because there aren’t any beginnings an entire 10 page chapter can consist entirely of one run on sentence which makes it hard to put down because you can’t find a stopping place though fortunately there are occasional line breaks like maybe once every few pagesanyway this guy Broken Glass spends all his tim

  7. says:

    Alain Mabanckou already knows most of what’s wrong with his book After a hundred and twenty odd pages of his desultory jabbering he lays out nice and clean“I’d write down words as they came to me I’d begin awkwardly and I’d finish as

  8. says:

    An ex teacher denizen of Credit Gone West a seedy bar in the Congo is asked by the landlord to write down the stories of its patrons He does so

  9. says:

    Maybe something was lost in the translation but a could have been great book became an OK one Broken Glass spends his time drinking red wine in a bar everyday for years The owner of the bar asks him to write down his observations of the people and surroundsThere starts a book with no capitals or full stops some humorous ep

  10. says:

    When I asked why he was so set on this notebook he said he didn’t want Credit Gone West just to vanish one day and added that people in this country have no sense of the importance of memory that the days when grandmother