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The Man Who Walked Through Walls (Pushkin Collection) Paperback – August 28, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"I have fallen utterly, completely and eternally in love with this writer. And, as with all true love, I am neither ashamed nor afraid to declare it to the world." - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

"The greatest French writer of the day." - Georges Simenon

"All of his writings are characterized by their irony, humour and realism, and are concerned with unearthing and examining ... the workings of society and ordinary people's darker motives." -

About the Author

Marcel Aymé (1902-67) was one of the great French writers of the twentieth century. Born in the Franche-Comté of Eastern France, he never lost touch with his rural origins, which influenced much of his work. Initially perceived as a man of the left, throughout his life Aymé espoused causes from across the political spectrum, for example apparently supporting Mussolini’s colonialism in Africa whilst also campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty. He attracted much controversy for his writings for collaborationist magazines during the Second World War, and his defence of Nazi-sympathising friends including Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Robert Brasillach in the post-war years. Nevertheless Aymé has remained hugely popular in France – this collection is particularly famous, and a dozen of his novels have been turned into films, among them the classics of French cinema La Traversée de Paris, La Vouivre and Uranus.

Product Details

  • Series: Pushkin Collection
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pushkin Collection (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906548641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906548643
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Freelancer Frank on October 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book about space, time, story telling and civic responsibility (among other things). It is a flawless collection of conceptual pieces, each written in the kind of clear prose that belies the work that went into it. Each story presents fresh insights and provokes new thoughts. It is difficult to understand how one writer can have so much range. 'Tickets On Time' is the best story about death that I have ever read - and there's lots of them so it takes something to do that. A life-enhancing game-changer of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The title is that of the first of a set of mostly surrealist short stories in which a man can really walk through walls, and we see the uses to which he puts this gift. A beautifully judged story of just the right length.

This cannot be said of the next one, entitled "Sabine Women", is about a woman called Sabine who has the ability at will to multiply herself with identities that live in totally different locations. Moreover, each of the likenesses has the capacity to do the same, so in the end there are sixty-seven thousand look-alikes all over the world, each of them in some way linked to the experiences of any one of them. Not only does their ability to multiply run out of control (like the broom in the Sorcerer's Apprentice), but so, I think, does the story itself, which is wild and much too long.

The title of the next story is "Tickets in Time". In this one the government has a way (unexplained) of temporarily killing unproductive citizens - they disappear from the land of the living for a number of days each month. They are given tickets to indicate the number of days docked each month, the number depending on the degree of their unproductivity. They come back to life when the new month begins. What would be the effect of such a scheme?

"The Problem of Summertime": if governments can add an hour to summer time, why stick at one hour? In 1942 the Vatican gave relief to a world weary of the war by ordaining that time should advance by seventeen years. What happens to a Frenchman when he suddenly finds himself living seventeen years later with the knowledge of what happened in the interval? And after he has lived for some time in that future, what happens when, for some unaccountable reason, he suddenly finds himself back in 1942?
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