Suspended Sentences

  • by Patrick Modiano
  • Narrated by Bronson Pinchot, Sean Runnette, Arthur Morey
  • 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume - Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin - represents a sterling example of the author's originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti's superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano's distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.
Although originally published separately, Modiano's three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers - all appear in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists.
Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano's fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person's confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To listen to Modiano's trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Blissful Idiot

Each of these 3 novellas is an entertaining voyage bizarre, like cruising through the dreams/nightmares/memories of an elderly Parisian "blissful idiot," as he was labeled in the eponymous novella by the édenté matriarche excentrique of his "foster family" full of females/underworld paramours in a post-WWII Paris brothel.

This was worth buying, IMO (4.2 stars); but I'm not part of a redneck agenda.

Sean Runnette was, as usual, excellent. Arthur Morey, bless him, has the nerdiest voice on Audible. And I wish Bronson Pinchot would go back to the start of his career to remember why he didn't do accents. He's so caught up shuttling the French accent that he's nearly impossible to understand.
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- W Perry Hall "One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope"

Not French

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. A non-stop listing of street names and buildings of long-gone Paris -- don't understand French nor do I know Paris so well that I could identify locations of streets. And not well enough to understand what Modiano was nostalgic about. Insider's view of Paris. Interesting POV though, having to do with shadows and remembrances of people rather than concrete people observed first-hand. People exist second- or third-hand.

Would you ever listen to anything by Patrick Modiano again?

If I could know what the best ones are and if I was sure it wasn't Franco-centric.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

There were three. One had a slight speech impediment and the last had a heavy French accent -- nice for atmosphere but not for listening.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


Any additional comments?

What's best Modiano book?

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- michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.