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Bar Flaubert

by Alexis Stamatis

A clever but ultimately sad book. Not the steamy read you expect from the fairly graphic (but detached) opening scene, but a literary detective puzzle taking you all over Europe, like a highbrow Da Vinci Code. There's a twist at the end - and the implications of that twist make for a true Greek tragedy.

Extract

On the Saturday morning I woke up in a sweat. Perhaps to blame was the fact that on that day I was entering the fifth decade of my life, or perhaps it was the dreams I had had - dark ones, with cemeteries, tombs, mysterious women dressed in robes and lonely houses bolted and barred -- or, again, the fact that I was all alone in the middle of summer in a shiny white motel room with my first image of the morning being a handful of papers on the pillow next to me.
Translated by David Connolly

Parallels

Possession by A S Byatt
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
 

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