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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very good condition, wear from reading. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged but may have spine creases from reading.
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Nothing Serious Paperback – October 1, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Louise's husband, Adrien, leaves her for his father's lover, Paula, a surgically enhanced model, the troubled young Parisian editor finds the joy has been sucked out of her life. The daughter of Bernard-Henri Lévy, the author (The Rendezvous) evokes the misery of heartache and unsentimentally conveys her protagonist's hollow sense of desolation in stylized, fragmentary prose. ("Into the trash with all secondhand pre-used words, it's like my heart, and my body, they're also secondhand, they've also loved, suffered, so what?") As the narrative progresses, seamlessly moving between the present and Louise's recollections of her fraught marriage, she slowly begins to see Adrien for the belittling, controlling and vain miscreant he was during their time together. Adding to the list of Louise's sorrows is the death of her beloved grandmother as well as the long-undetected cancer threatening her mother's life, but romance with Pablo, a devoted Spaniard, buoys her spirits. A delicious cynicism creeps onto every page as Louise recounts her dysfunctional marriage, her addiction to amphetamines and battles with low self-esteem. Lévy's memorable if neurotic protagonist proves loveable despite her many flaws, and the novel is distinguished by that particularly intriguing brand of French fatalism. (Oct. 1)
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Review

“A sensation in France last year, this novel from Lévy manages the impossible, combining the plot of a made-for-TV-movie with language worthy of a feminist philosopher-poet.... this beautifully written novel deserves attention.... Lévy’s prose is luminous and the novel is a marvel of construction.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976140772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976140771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laurence Jarvik on May 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just had to read Nothing Serious when heard that Carla Bruni--wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy--was one of the characters depicted by Justine Levy in fictional form. I finally had a chance, thanks to the kindness of Melville House publishing chief Dennis Loy Johnson, who sent me a review copy--which, by the way, has a beautiful paperback binding, with helpful end flaps that can be used as bookmarks, real class...

As for the novel, of the confessional genre, I can report that it is really not too bad, especially for a 20-something. Better than the "girls of Knopf" sort of memoirs-cum-novels that appeared a few years ago. Not great literature, but worth reading if one's expectations are not too high.

Nothing Serious is not actually much about Carla Bruni, although she does appear as a Wicked Witch of the West-type husband-stealing predator who pops up episodically throughout the story. The main storyline, however, is a coming-of-age tale for a young French woman coming to terms with the death of her grandmother. It is a journey of self-discovery, complete with tales of infidelity and drug and alcohol abuse that ends in a French rehab center (where apparently the French health system allows stays of up to one year). Included in this roman-a-clef are vignettes of famous French philosophers like the author's father, Bernard Henry-Levy.

While not great literature, and geared more towards female "chick-lit" audiences than male readers, it does give a sense of what has happened to Europe, culturally.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By gitc on January 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
justine levy takes us from the pits of hell, spins us around a couple of times, and spits us back out. refreshing in its strong female narrative, utterly indulgent in its darkness, but wonderfully redemptive in its transformations. i was surprised to read such an insightful ending to the novel. like an uncensored journal, it is raw and honest. worth the read.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kharabella on December 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
NOTHING SERIOUS reads mostly like a a journal, or a incredibly long, often incohesive and random stream of thought. The novel is more about what and how the character Louise Levy thinks and how she experiences and interprets the world than about any particular events. In fact, the basic events of the plot are revealed pretty early, although perhaps out of sequence, and the story holds no real surprises. I was only so interested in Justine/Louise's mania, (though I was relieved when she seemed to figure it all out) so it took me a while to finish the book. I put it aside often to read something more interesting. I also think that the prose of this novel just does not work as well in English. The writing style is palatable in French, and is mostly annoying in English.

The story itself -- I think that it could be told just fine through an long literary essay. As it book, it just seems to belabor the point.
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6 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michel Baudin on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Presenting obviously autobiographical information as fiction is both indiscreet and unfair. It is indiscreet because the "characters" in this "fiction" had a legitimate expectation that their private interactions with Justine Levy would stay that way. It is unfair because they can't defend themselves against unflattering portrayals of themselves in fiction.

In spite of being unseemly airing of family dirty linen, or perhaps because of it, this book is passable airplane reading. To her credit, the author attempts neither to make her alter ego attractive nor to portray the husband who leaves her in too harsh a light. In fact, by the end of the book, I found myself wondering how he put up with her for so long.
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