Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Book Review : The Little Girl and the Cigarette - Benoit Duteurtre 8*
As the prisoner achieves fame and the backing of the tobaco companies, the office worker finds himself in a Kafka like situation, as he sits smoking, pants around his ankles so that any parkers nosy enough to peer under the door will believe he is using the toilet cubicle for its intended purpose, a small girl pushes into the occupied stall. The worker is rude to the child, who then in turn accuses him of a sexual assault which never happened, and his life dissolves as the accusation turns in to a formal investigation.
The Little Girl is an entertaining read with some thought provoking passages, although the setting is as dark as Orwell or Kafka, there is a thick streak of black humour running through the novel. Duteurtre sees many of the whims and obsessions of modern life and inflates them into blackly comic monsters, this isn't a perect novel, but highly enjoyable and I do look forward to more of his work being translated.