Review: The First Thing You See- Gregoire Delacourt

The First Thing You See (Oct):

This is a translation from the original French and probably wouldn’t have shown up on my radar if it wasn’t for the news that Scarlett Johansson applied to have it banned (on the grounds that one of the characters looks like her.)

The premise is that one day, Scarlett turns up on the doorstep of a humble French mechanic (himself apparently a better looking version of Ryan Gosling), looking for some refuge from celebrity. Except she’s not really Scarlett, she’s a girl who looks very much like her. The two of them explore their lives and fall into a relationship.

It’s not actually a very interesting book and it’s a good job it’s quite a small one, too, as I’m not sure I would have lasted longer. I do wonder how much gets lost in translation and I often wish I was one of those people proficient enough in a language to enjoy reading a book in its original form, as I’m pretty sure that no matter how good the translation is, we lose some of the cultural signposts.

Anyway. It’s a nice enough story, I guess, enhanced by a dash of celebrity scandal.

1 Comment

  1. Here’s the thing – I was loving the sampler (witty, clever, slightly surreal) until the point where our hero is giving us his personal history and mentions that he had a sibling sister who has eaten by the dog next door. Tres amusant n’est-ce pas?


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