Read Une jeunesse by Patrick Modiano Online


Dans un Paris où ils sont livrés à eux-mêmes, deux très jeunes gens, Odile et Louis, font l'«apprentissage de la ville» et d'une vie de hasards, d'expédients et d'aventures.Ils ont pour eux leur innocence et croisent sur leur route des individus singuliers, émouvants mais quelquefois peu recommandables qui les entraînent dans des chemins de traverse.Mais, en définitive, auDans un Paris où ils sont livrés à eux-mêmes, deux très jeunes gens, Odile et Louis, font l'«apprentissage de la ville» et d'une vie de hasards, d'expédients et d'aventures.Ils ont pour eux leur innocence et croisent sur leur route des individus singuliers, émouvants mais quelquefois peu recommandables qui les entraînent dans des chemins de traverse.Mais, en définitive, aussi trouble et aussi chaotique que soit un début dans la vie, il se métamorphose, avec le temps, en un beau souvenir de jeunesse, que les deux héros de ce livre sont désormais seuls à partager....

Title : Une jeunesse
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782070376292
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 182 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Une jeunesse Reviews

  • Tony
    2019-02-18 18:02

    Now I can say I've read Modiano. I enjoyed the story but didn't get any deeper meaning. And I don't have anything else to say.

  • Steve
    2019-03-14 00:06

    C'est un drôle de livre! The book commences with an apparently solidly bourgeois couple, 35 years old, with two children playing outside their chalet in the French Alps. Then it returns 15 years to show the beginnings of this couple and their apparent happiness - no, these beginnings are anything other than what one would expect from the stereotype. At the age of 19 they both have nothing at all - no education, no possessions, no particular talents - and they are remarkably passive and unreflective (until the very last page of the book). Each is taken in hand by a middle-aged man (for no apparent reason) and guided towards an occupation. They meet each other, fall in love and are henceforth inseparable. The process of falling in love is completely elided in the book; it takes place during a two week span when they nearly starve to death because the young man has omitted to ask his mentor for some more money. (!) These two weeks are alluded to in a single brief paragraph, nothing more. But the reader is told in great detail what certain characters are wearing and which drinks certain other characters are consuming. (!) Not only are Modiano's decisions about which information to communicate and which to withhold very curious, nearly every event in the book is narrated in precisely the same voice and language; only an attempted rape receives a description in a tone which is a bit moretendu . But, as an example, the two times the young woman submits to the sexual advances of a predatory record producer are recorded with the same detached voice as the detailed recounting of the furniture in rooms in which very nearly nothing of significance happens. In other words, almost the entire book is written in the same relatively flat language. When I read literature, I hope for something more. I'm really not sure what to make of this book. Yes, there do indeed exist such passive, non-selfreflective people; yes, the nearly random way events occur and people move in and out of the lives of the young couple reflects life itself; yes, perhaps the voice and information choices made by the author are meant to reflect the, to me, strange character of the young couple - after all, the reader is only allowed to glimpse the thoughts of the young couple and no other characters. But, in that case, the protagonists would be autistic! On the other hand, I rather doubt that these authorial choices are the result of some tedious meta-fictional considerations... And the "surprise" at the end? Much too late. There is precious little of interest in this book, and that's not typical of my experience with Modiano's writings. Two stars and no entrance into my permanent library. Sorry, Patrick.

  • Liviu
    2019-03-03 22:05

    While written in 1981, the first English translation of Young Once has just been published in 2016 and it is the first book from the author that captivated me from the first page, so i essentially read it in one sitting (as it is quite short) and then re-read it as by the end, a lot of things are seen better in retrospect, especially that on first read the book is really elusive - which is clearly due to the author's style and the way he keeps the main two characters at a distance, Louis and Odille appearing almost like "puppets" that move mechanically on a string; this until the end when they are shown taking the decision that leads them to where they are now 15 years later (in the late 70's) when the book starts, reasonably prosperous owning a large home and contently running a daycare business in it somewhere in the French Alps and with two children aged 5 and 13 of their own...But there is a lot of mystery behind the scenes and while everything is very veiled, there is an English postcard that hints at the background storyAnyway, most of the book takes place sometime in the early 60's when Louis Memling, aged 19, son of a formerly famous French cyclist and a cabaret dancer who both died in a car crash some years before, living him destitute and unable to finish his boarding school education, is discharged from his 2 years in the army and is taken under his wing by shady businessman Brossier who may have noted young Louis' polished speech/appearance when they met accidentally in a bar; later Louis becomes a sort of secretary and factotum for Brossier's important associate Roland "de" Bejardy, a former war hero from a noble French family, decorated at 23, but whose life after the war took a wrong turn when he became involved in black market activities in 1945-46; as an admirer of Louis' father, Bejardy hires him despite a somewhat initial reluctance given Louis' lack of credentials, though one is led to wonder if things were actually random and Brossier met Louis by chance...In the same time, Odille, recently fired for shoplifting from the perfume shop she has worked in (and with a familial history tragic in different ways than of Louis), spends her days in a bar listening to the singers and dreaming of becoming one, when she is "discovered" by a middle aged Viennese exile who was a young up and coming composer in the 1930's when the "Flood" came as one of his former associates puts it later, so now he works a modest job for a record company, going to bars to discover "new talent"...Brought together by chance Louis and Odille stick together as people on a raft boat in the turbulence that is life for them and so it goes...Overall, an excellent lyrical and moody novel that convinced me to try more work from the author

  • Esra M.
    2019-03-12 18:09

    Kitap ilk başlardaki kuvvetli görsel anlatımıyla okuyucuyu kendine kısa sürede çekiyor. Karakterlerin geçmişten bugüne uzanan yolculuğuna sıra gelince bu görsellikten uzaklaşılsada, yaşanılan olaylar sayesinde insan alternatif gelecekleri sorgulamaya başlıyor. Ancak gerek ana karakterlerin gerekse yan karakterlerin derinine inerek analizinin yapılmayıp, okuyucuya onları tam olarak anlama imkanı verilmemesi, arada sözü geçen olayların tutarlı bir şekilde bağlanılmaması ve hikayeyle bütünlük sağlamayan gereksiz kimi detaylara değinilmesi kitabın güzelliğine gölge düşürüyor. Yine de "Yüzbaşının Kızı" gibi merak ettiğim kitaplardan biri olan "Bir Gençlik" okunmaya değer.

  • Gkcayhan
    2019-03-05 20:09

    Değişik bir anlatım, sessiz, sakin.. sanki olanlar bizim kahramanların başına gelmiyor da dışarıdan bir kişiye olanları izliyorlar gibi.. özellikle kız karakterin yaşadıkları, başına gelen "yem" olayı, Paris gibi bir yerde biraz anlaşılması güç. Ancak hayatını kurma, bir şeylere tutunma çabasından olsa gerek 20 ve 21 yaşlarında olan Louis ve Odile herşeye olur gözüyle bakanlardan. Geçmişe dönük anlatım olduğundan film tadı da yaratıyor. Gençlik böyle bişey işte.. herşey olur, herşey geçer, biz önümüze bakalım... bazı kişisel sorgulamalar açısından güzeldi..

  • Mark
    2019-03-01 21:19

    I love Modiano, and this book was a big success for him. Not my favorite of his, three stars but the fourth star is given for his prose that reads like a dream...

  • Jim
    2019-03-09 17:56

    Patrick Modiano is my favorite living French author, and Young Once is a superb novel. It is the tale of Louis Memling and his wife Odile, whom we find celebrating their thirty-fifth birthdays in the south of France. Most of the novel is concerned with the devious route they took to get there. When young, and before they met each other, they were under the thumb of various lowlifes who used them. Even after they met, they worked for two dubious bosses who were obviously doing something shady with automobiles and currency. The France of these Modiano stories is during the 1960s, and in general his novels have a nouvelle vague feel to them, like early Godard and Truffaut. A real danger seemed to surround them, but Louis and Odile played it straight:They were living through one of those moments when you need to feel the need to grab on to something stable and solid, the longing to ask someone for advice. But there wasn't anyone. Except for the gray silhouettes with their black briefcases crossing rue Réaumur in the rain, coming into the café, having their coffee or drink at the counter, and leaving. Their movements made Odile and Louis feel numb. The ground was shifting under their feet.Numerous times, the pair is warned to get away from the hoods who are using them. As we can tell from the book's opening, they do.

  • Victor Morosoff
    2019-03-13 02:07

    Mon Dieu, je ne m'accordais presque plus la liberté de croire à un autre livre-exploit de Modiano. Mais voilà qui me démontre mon erreur. "Une jeunesse" est un livre caressant et troublant à la fois. Il y aurait beaucoup à dire sur ses pages; toutefois, je me contente de souligner l'artifice incroyable que réalise Modiano au début, en décrivant une famille dont la vie est on ne peut plus paisible, genre bourgeoise, par rapport à la suite, une suite de tourments et de fugues, qui ramène au passé. Car c'est cela la jeunesse pure: une vague qui se brise. Et Modiano en est le maître, dans ce bouquin. 4,6/5

  • Daniel Polansky
    2019-02-25 00:02

    I confess I don’t pay a lot of attention to the Nobel prize for literature because I have this curious medical condition where I’m gonna die one day, and thus my time on earth is limited, but my vague sense is that they seem to warble between awarding it to incandescently difficult stuff the purpose of which is to make you think the Nobel Prize people are very smart and sort of mediocre crap the purpose of which is to make you think the Nobel Prize people are hip and approachable (oh shit I just remembered Dylan got it last year! How could I have blocked that out!?!). Anyway, I’m going to go ahead based on this one that Modiano is the latter. This is basically a brief, not brilliant pseudo-noir about a pair of people falling in love in and getting into occasional minor trouble in Paris in the 60’s or 70’s I guess. The prose is fine but unremarkable, which indeed would be an apt description of the book generally. It’s very much in that drifty, Paul Auster/Murikami sort of vein (though in fairness, better than either of those two), long on ennui and short on much else. Drop, I mean I didn’t hate it but I can’t see any reason for keeping it and I’m moving to LA and I’m afraid even some of my beloved NYRB Classics won’t make the cut.

  • Kasa Cotugno
    2019-02-22 18:07

    This one didn't grab me like other works by Modiano I've read. It was far more plot-heavy which may have been why it was considered to be his "breakout novel," more accessible to a wider reading population. Not to disparage that method of gaining readership, but it seemed to lack the haunting quality I've come to expect from this author, a brooding sullenness that permeates others I've read so far. This is a good case of judging an author's work more strictly based on previous examples of his work.

  • Spencer
    2019-02-25 22:10

    The story opens on June 22, 1980 in eastern France at the base of a mountain bordering on Switzerland. Odile Memling will be celebrating her 35th birthday the following day. Husband Louis will be turning 35 at the end of July. It is noteworthy that neither has ever celebrated their birthday. They have two nameless children—a girl 13 and a boy 5. The Memlings own a bucolic children's academy with a school year that follows a traditional school year. There is evidence that spoken English is part of the curriculum. It will close on June 24th and reopen as a restaurant and tearoom that will cater to the tourists that visit the bordering park in Switzerland.Louis feels he can never live in Paris again, though it is the city of his youth. Odile ponders whether there can be new beginnings at age 35, but presumes that the answer is "no". They both agree that life has a certain inertia, such as experienced coasting down a mountain road in a car or floating down a river in a boat. Your final destination is determined by your point of departure. Odile thinks of how strange it would be if children would somehow know what their parents were like when they were young. When talking about this with Odile, which was not often, Louis would note that the most decisive period of their life lasted only seven months.This background is revealed mostly in the first ten pages. The third person narrative then shafts back 15 years and 7 months to December 1964. Nineteen year old Louis has just been discharged from the French Army after a two-year enlistment. Odile is yearning to become a singer/performer. Louis is at a loss for what he will do. He has no education beyond seven years of boarding school and has no career aspirations. We learn that the two are essentially orphans—lacking any familial safety net and totally dependent on anyone that provide employment, which neither has. Nor is there a presence in their lives any responsible adults that can offer much needed support and advice.Louis and Odile go on a seven month odyssey encountering a cast of characters that are mysterious, shady, mentally unbalanced, morally challenged, untrustworthy, murderous, and often sexually perverse. Many of them are fleeing or hiding from someone or something. Most struggle with unfulfilled dreams. Some have a past that is personally haunting at best, and criminal at worst.Memory is very important in this novel, as it is in most of Modiano's work. Most Modiano novels have a character that modeled on his own life. Birth day and birth year for Louis match very well with Modiano, and it is well known his parents were very remote as he grew up. Louis's psyche and life-view have been greatly influenced by the nine years he spent in isolation and dependence in boarding schools and the army, the same as was true for Modiano. Louis is obsessed with knowing his father, who died years ago with his wife in an automobile crash, neither having been personally involved in Louis's upbringing.The seven month odyssey that Louis an Odile embark upon is a product of the characters they associated with and the events they shared. Because of their orphan background they arrive in a tough world with a moral blank slate. It raises the interesting proposition that we become who we hang out with and what they do.Louis and Odile independently come to the conclusion that they must do what others have done, and that is to escape or flee from influences that are not going to be good for them in the long run. Their attempt to escape at age 20, with little guidance or experience, cause them to replicate the behaviors and events of those they were trying to escape.At the denouement of the novel, just shy of their 20th birthdays, Louis and Odile make a decision that determines how they will be living 15 years in the future, and probably beyond. And thus ended their youth, just seven months long.The book raises the important issue of parental responsibility in child-rearing, and choosing friends carefully. It also raises the issue of whether we are the product of nurture or nature.

  • Brian McLaughlin
    2019-02-26 20:01

    great mood, great atmosphere, fluidity of nostalgia-memory complex, classic Modiano, really great

  • Sini
    2019-03-07 18:55

    Toen mijn held Patrick Modiano in 2014 de Nobelprijs won kon ik een juichkreet niet onderdrukken, en ik glimlach er nog steeds om: allerlei ouder werk van hem wordt namelijk opnieuw uitgegeven, of alsnog in vertaling gepubliceerd. Dat laatste gebeurt nu met "Een jeugd", een relatief vroege Modiano uit 2016, nog niet eerder vertaald. Modiano heeft veel verschillende boeken geschreven, steeds ongeveer 150-200 bladzijden dik, die allemaal draaien om ongrijpbare mistige weemoed, om personages met een hooglijk ongedefinieerde identiteit die tastend dolen in onbepaalde werelden zonder ankerpunt, en om vergeefse dromerig- omfloerste verlangens naar een herkenbare oorsprong of een mooie toekomst. Critici vinden dan Modiano zichzelf te veel herhaalt, omdat hij in elk boek weer dezelfde thematiek oppakt en vaak bepaalde motieven of zelfs personages letterlijk herneemt. Maar ik zit daar niet mee, ten eerste omdat Modiano mij elke keer opnieuw meevoert met zijn stijl, en ook omdat de boeken als je goed kijkt onderling toch nog wel de nodige variatie blijken te bevatten.Nou is "Een jeugd" niet de beste Modiano: latere boeken als "Zondagen in augustus" , "Kleine Bijou", "Een circus gaat voorbij" of "De horizon" zijn naar mijn smaak echt sterker. Trouwens, "Villa Triste" en "De straat van de donkere winkels" zijn dat in mijn beleving ook. Maar het is wel weer een mooie Modiano, die ook weer iets toevoegt aan het rijke totaalbeeld dat ik als verstokte fan toch al had. Eigenlijk is het hele boek een langgerekte flashback, waarin het echtpaar Louis en Odile terugdenkt aan de tijd dat zij nog als 19-jarigen als drijfhout ronddobberden door obscuur Parijs. Hun identiteit was in die jaren nog zeer ongevormd, waardoor hun dromerige dooltochten iets treurigs en onheilspellends en zelfs angstwekkends hebben, maar tegelijk ook een aantrekkelijk soort lichtheid omdat niets nog vastligt. Ze houden zich in leven door onduidelijke en soms behoorlijk illegale opdrachten uit te voeren, die zij dan krijgen van mysterieuze, behoorlijk suspecte en beduidend oudere beschermers. En die beschermers zijn dan weer doordesemd van weemoed, marginaliteit, verloren droom en verloren jeugd. Hun weemoed heeft in mijn beleving niet de lichtheid die nog te zien is bij Louis en Odile; hun weemoed is gedempte treurnis om het onomkeerbare en onherroepelijke verlies. Het contrast tussen dolende, zoekende en weemoedige jongeren en dolende, weemoedige en gestrande ouderen komt vaker voor bij Modiano, maar is naar mijn idee in dit boek toch wat scherper aangezet dan in zijn meeste andere boeken. Ook de sfeer van criminaliteit, van illegaliteit, van niet inpasbaar zijn in de door wetten en conventies gereguleerde wereld, zie je vaker bij Modiano. Maar hier lijken de randjes wat scherper, bijvoorbeeld door de wijze waarop Odile tot prostitutie wordt gedwongen, iets wat ze dan overigens met een wel heel Modiano-eske gelatenheid ondergaat. En wat overheerst is de droeve weemoed over de vergeefsheid van alle dromen. Zie de volgende passage over de melancholieke talentenjager Bellune, die een aantal musicerende jongeren bekijkt die door hem ontdekt hopen te worden: "En hun droom was zo intens, en zo heftig hun verlangen om door middel van de muziek te ontsnappen aan wat hun vermoedelijk in het leven te wachten stond, dat Bellune dikwijls in de doordringende geluiden van de gitaren en de zich schor zingende stemmen louter hulpgeroep hoorde". Misschien hoort Bellune inderdaad de verborgen noodkreet van de vergeefs naar een muzikale carrière snakkende jongeren. Misschien hoort hij ook zijn eigen noodkreet, want al snel komen we er achter dat hij zelf niet meer tegen het leven is opgewassen. Maar dat die noodkreet wel degelijk OOK bij jongeren hoort, blijkt bladzijden later uit o.a. de volgende passage over Odile: "Haar droom is in rook opgegaan. Het is haar niet gelukt om zich te laten horen, haar stem is er niet in geslaagd boven de mist en het lawaai uit te stijgen, zoals de stem van de zangeres van wie ze het verhaal had gelezen. Ze heeft geen moed meer."Ja, dit was toch weer een mooie, melancholieke Modiano. Zoals steeds schreef hij allerlei omfloerste treurnis zo mooi op dat hij niet alleen treurnis oproept, maar ook troost. En zoals steeds nam hij mij mee in een mistige, droevige, maar door zijn stijl ook mooie droom. Dat hij nog maar jaren moge leven, en nog vele boekjes moge schrijven. Ik zal ze allemaal lezen.

  • Marc
    2019-03-05 23:10

    My first Modiano, but a very strange reading-experience. Louis and Odile, a young couple of 19, live in Paris and get involved in rather seedy affairs, taken on by moblike characters. They just do what they are told, almost without emotions, although like children they sense something is wrong. The characters Louis and Odile reminded me very much of those in Sartre's "Les jeux sont faits": they are like robots with very little will of their own. But in the end there's a denouement (wurthy of Sartre) that makes up for the uncomfortable feeling I begot whilst reading. To me this seems more a kind of writing experiment of Modiano. Also, the continuous naming of Streets and housenumbers has a rather strange effect (what's the purpose?). In short, perhaps this was not the best introduction to Modiano, but I confess I kept on reading: his writing has a kind of enchanting quality.

  • Carlos
    2019-02-20 02:14

    La novela me ha dejado una sensación extraña. Sin duda, es un libro distinto de los que he estado leyendo últimamente. La trama es sencilla, no se ahonda en los personajes más que unas pinceladas, las frases son cortas y concretas aunque la mitad del libro se pase nombrando calles de ciudades que no conozco. Y aún así lo he leído de buena gana. Hay algo en la atmósfera que recrea el autor que te adormece y reconforta metiéndote en la historia; te absorbe la simpleza de los dos jóvenes protagonistas que "no tienen existencia individual y van confundidos con las fachadas y las aceras."

  • Valerie
    2019-02-27 00:09

    Il y a quelque chose de détaché dans l'écriture de Modiano où ce qui se passe n'est pas à la surface, mais plus profond, plus profondément triste et doux pourtant, ce n'est pas grave, ce n'est pas dramatique et pourtant ça l'est et presqu'infiniment triste parfois, mais la vie avance fataliste et libre. Cette jeunesse c'est être l'objet des autres et ne pas avoir de volonté propre, jusqu'à ce qu'elle s'achève par le désir de ne plus jouer un jeu dont on ne connait pas les règles. C'est beau.

  • Amino
    2019-02-19 23:01

    I read the chunk of it in a single sitting and it wasn't that it was fast paced but that it was just so compelling in the way that he wrote and the closest I can come to accurately describing the charm of Modiano's writing in this novel is seductive. I was absolutely captivated by the dialogue and the way about themselves the characters had – it was all very languid and pleasant.

  • Vivi
    2019-02-26 20:53

    Simple, short, beautiful. This unconventional story completely got me. It's not about the plot, it's rather about the memories that sometimes seem so odd and so far away that they feel like a dream. I am in love with Odile and Louis.

  • Nooshin
    2019-03-18 02:13

    آرام و راحت تو را میکشد تا دنبالش کنی.

  • Alan-Without-Poe
    2019-02-22 19:49

    Los libros del señor Modiano, definitivamente, no son para todo el mundo. Son crudos, sin intentos infructuosos de disfrazar la verdad. Y por si esto no fuese poco, creo que uno debe de tener cierta edad, haber pasado por ciertas experiencias para poder ser capaces de disfrutar completamente de sus libros. Creo que estoy cerca de cumplir estos requisitos para poder ser capaz de disfrutar, como es propiamente debido, el trabajo de este gran escritor.Una Juventud. Nos relata la historia de un par de jóvenes que cruzan esta etapa de su vida sin saber ni tener la mas remota idea de que hacer con ella. Oldie, una encantadora joven, de cabello moreno, con sueños de ser cantante. Louie, un joven que acaba de salir del cuartel militar, como único sueño, comprarse unos zapatos que remplacen sus malgastadas botas militares.Un día, ambos jóvenes se encuentran, por cosa del destino, en un café desierto. Y desde ese instante, sus vidas se vuelven una. En esta relación no abundan las palabras de amor eterno, de pasar la vida juntos, ni de palabras dulces. No es necesario.Broisser, un cuarentón, que Louis conoce en el momento justo en que sale del cuartel, antes de conocer a Oldie. Broisser es tipo misterioso, que trabaja para un sujeto aun mas misterioso, algo asi como El Gran Gatsby. Broisser, quien desarrolla inmediatamente un gran afecto por Louise, quizas, porque en èl ve, esa juventud de la que el se vio privada. Es tanto su afecto por este joven, que por unas cuantas semanas lo ayuda con un poco de dinero, en lo que el arregla un trabajo para él con su jefe. De Bejardy, nuestro Gatsby. Su pasado, es casi un mito, que se va desvelando conforme lo hace la propia.Ademas de otros pequeños, pero importantes personajes, esta esta París entrañable, nostálgica, de los años 30s, de fondo, como nos tiene acostumbrados el señor Modiano en sus novelas.Dentro de las paginas de Una Juventud se encuentra esta etapa de nuestras vidas en las que no parece existir respuesta alguna para, en este caso, preguntas de nuestros jóvenes protagonistas.Sin duda, una lectura nostálgica, que sin duda, leeré, una vez mas, quizás cuando mi juventud solo sea un remoto recuerdo, evocado por viejas fotografías.

  • Nina
    2019-03-17 20:50

    This is my first Modiano, and he reminds me vivedly of Hemingway albeit with more domestic subject matter. The sentences are spare, the emotions hinted at but left under the surface. The tale clearly aims to provoke certain reactions from the reader (alarm bells, sadness, shock, affection), without actually mirroring those anticipated responses within the text itself. Some reviewers have called the characters wooden, the text sterile. I find it subtle. Modiano, like Hemingway, is uninterested in spoon feeding his readers. The result is a surprising thing: a coming of age novel with no anxty interior monologues, no disproportionate teen drama. Une Jeunesse follows two naive 19 year olds, with no worldly experience or adult perspective to guide them, as they are thrown unprepared into the big city. Unsurprisingly, every adult they meet takes advantage of their innocence in some way or another. But with a twist of character complexity, almost all of those profiteering adults are simultaneously charmed by the youths' innocence and feel compelled to take on a mentor role, helping to clothe, house, and find employment for the young things. And unlike the stories that one hears of nefarious adults "grooming" their young targets, one gets the feeling that these in loco parentis helping hands are sincerely meant. Like Stockholm syndrome in reverse. Modiano is wondrously subtle in showing the youths' gradual transition into adulthood. With dawning awareness, they tentatively start questioning the intentions of the adults around them; they start to glimpse the red flags that the reader has seen all along. As in the Wizard of Oz, they start to realize that the men behind the masks are less impressive than they would have them believe, and less worthy of their trust. They start to draw lines in the sand, first by avoiding the most harmful adults, then by demanding fair treatment, and finally by physically and metaphorically choosing to go in a different direction from the path outlined for them by their minders. Trust and loyalty become things that must be earned, no longer given away freely. Over the course of the book, backbones are grown and independent thought bourgeons.

  • Robert
    2019-03-08 17:57

    Young Once is a fluidly written account--the story opening when Louis and Odile are 35 but focusing primarily on their experiences when they were twenty--of what it is to be out on your own (in Paris) and be exploited, disappointed, and yet survive. There's a charm in this especially because Modiano is so deft in moving his tale along, scene by scene, while vividly depicting his characters' calculations and vulnerabilities.Odile wants to become a recording artist, but one backer commits suicide while another forces her to have sex with him and then tosses her aside. Louis doesn't want much of anything so when he leaves military service, he becomes a doorkeeper and bagman for a con artist. Sometimes the two of them live better than badly. At other times they scrape along pretty low. Their predatory associates are modestly evil, not great villains. In fact, their own lack of ambition is probably their greatest nemesis.Modiano succeeds by keeping this novel focused within a narrow band of realism. The storyline has a loopy, idiosycratic quality that renders it believable. No one is permanently disfigured; everyone more or less escapes intact. As in life, so on the page: no great drama, just some nasty tricks and betrayals. Ultimately, at 35, Odile and Louis have come out okay. When they were much younger, they didn't wonder what was to become of they know.I have no idea why Modiano would win a Nobel Prize for writing like this, but I've never thought much of literary prizes in general. Maybe it was a Frenchman's turn. Something like that.But read Young Once. It's well done.

  • Ramon
    2019-03-19 01:10

    I felt the ending was a bit abrupt. Since it's mostly a flashback, I thought it would at least return to the present. It also ended as if it was a plot-heavy book, which it isn't. Still, some bits of lovely language, and heartbreaking at times, but also with spots of human frailty and weakness. Just nice to see more Modiano finally being translated into English.

  • Greta
    2019-02-16 22:02

    At last a loving, relatively untroubled relationship for our young man, narrator of all the stories I've read thus far by Patrick Modiano. None the less, life manages to get dangerous and very complicated for our young people in love and coming of age together. Lucky and smart in equal measure, lemons are made into a tasty lemonade.

  • Steve
    2019-02-22 18:03

    difficult, could not finish this

  • Herman De Vos
    2019-03-13 00:10

    Vrij ontgoochelend. Voor mij emotieloos. Kleeft absoluut niet.

  • Brook
    2019-03-07 19:16

    Bloodless. Uneventful.

  • Salvatore
    2019-02-18 17:55

    A fine meditation. Not nearly as succinct or as powerful as his later books. But still there are some shocking, beautiful sentences that jolt.

  • Andrew De Sousa
    2019-02-19 00:08


  • Emrah Korkmaz
    2019-02-21 20:06

    Okuduğum ilk Patrick Modiano kitabı, aynı zamanda 2014 nobel ödüllü bir kitap. Anlatımı akıcı ve hikayede de can alıcı noktalar fazlasıyla var.