peteg's blog - noise - books - 2022 01 23 Tellier TheAnomaly

Hervé Le Tellier: The Anomaly.

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Kindle. A French airport novel in translation. Briefly an Air France flight from Paris to NYC undergoes an anomaly. I had hoped this would lead to some structural fun, perhaps some symmetry. Told as a multitrack with way too many characters, some of whom cop it in the neck in what I took to be authorial vengeance. (Specifically man-magnet film-editing Parisien Lucie and her aging architect André are set up for slaughter.) Very referential. Loads of cliches, especially American tropes in the button-pushing mode, and my all-time favourite: dropping brand names of pharmaceuticals and hitman equipment. Despite the specific dates there is no mention of COVID. The confrontation of pairs made no sense and was not explained; I mean, the US government still runs Gitmo, right? And disappearing those inconvenient people would have been (and soon is) more in character. I laughed a bit, at not with. The Godfather, canonical in this market segment, has nothing to fear.

Goodreads: yeah, many more reasons to give this one a miss. Sarah Lyall at the New York Times thought it was high concept literature. She sells it as an exploration of all those deep questions when really it's just a stick looking for an eye.