What to make of Patrick Modiano? This is not the first book of his that I have read, but it is the shortest. It is about 120 pages, and it is, I suppose, an exercise in the problem of memory and return. You have probably heard the saying, “You can never go home”, usually when referring to reading a book loved in your teenage years, or watching an old television show, or even, really, returning to the town where you grew up and … being disappointed.
Honeymoon is about that, in a manner. It’s a book of silences and solitude, and it’s really very good. Modiano (won the Nobel in 2014) has said that he writes the same book over and over, and that he is really writing one great book, and I think there is truth in this. Taken on its own, this book doesn’t amount to much – it is tenuous, abstract, light, sad. But combined in my mind with the other works? I am starting to understand his Nobel win.
The Books, Read page contains a list of all of the books I have read this year.