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The Child
The Child | Jules Valls
2 posts | 1 read | 2 to read
The Child is a story about growing up that is comparable in humor and humanity to Great Expectations, even as its unflinching exposure of violence and hypocrisy foreshadows the nightmare realsim of Louis-Ferdinand Cline. Jules Valls, an anarchist and a bohemian, dedicated his book "to all those who were bored stiff at school or reduced to tears at home, who in childhood were bullied by their teachers or thrashed by their parents," and it tells the (autobiographical) tale of a young boy constantly scapegoated and abused, emotionally and physically, by his peasant mother and schoolteacher father, whose greatest concern is to improve their social status. But the young hero learns to stand up to his parents, even to love them, in time, and for all the intense pain the book registers it is anything but dreary. To the contrary, Valls's book is one of the funniest in French literature, a triumph of insubordinate comedy over the forces of order and the self-appointed defenders of decency.
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sisilia
The Child | Jules Valls
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3⭐️ My problem with this book is the way it‘s being told. Its first half is just like a collection of snippets from childhood, and I almost lost my interest. The second half is much better with stories flowing instead of the stop and go approach used at the start. In the hand of Emile Zola, this story of a child living with abusive parents would have been a jaw-dropping page turner. Alas, Valles is not Zola.

BarbaraBB NYRB did great again with this cover! 4mo
sisilia @BarbaraBB They never disappoint 😀 4mo
Liz_M that last line of your review! 😂 4mo
54 likes3 comments
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sisilia
The Child | Jules Valls
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Whoaaa… Starting this soon 😃

Suet624 Ouch. 5mo
batsy Wow. Yet another NYRB I wasn't aware of! And yet another to add to the wishlist 😅 5mo
53 likes2 stack adds2 comments