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I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere Kindle Edition

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Length: 212 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Reading Anna Gavalda's story collection, I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere, is a bit like choosing the mini-éclair over its full-size counterpart--while the smaller size makes each morsel that much more satisfying, you can't help but wish for just one more bite. Still, in many cases, Gavalda does a better job of capturing the essence of human emotion in each five-to-ten page story than many writers manage to do in epic novels.

Gavalda sets up every story such that each character's fate can be decided in a single moment. Whether the protagonist's pivotal moment is decided by fate or free will is what keeps these 12 stories fresh and unique. In "Lead Story," traveling salesman Jean-Pierre does not learn the true horrific consequences of an almost-missed exit on the highway until opening Le Figaro the next morning. The veterinarian in Catgut decides her fate in the instant after a brutal crime leaves her feeling physically and emotionally victimized. And when the mysterious stranger answers his cell phone on a first date in Courting Rituals of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés, our heroine decides she has heard enough to cut short what could have been a passionate love affair. ("I come to my senses all at once. Traitor. Ingrate.") It is in these crucial instants, where fate plays a hand, that Gavalda truly shows off her ability to convey love, longing, loneliness, and satisfaction. And perhaps the clarity of these moments is worth more than any full-size French pastry. --Gisele Toueg

From Publishers Weekly

Unabashed materialism is tempered by dry wit in this collection of 12 jaunty short stories about heartache and love by a young prize-winning French writer. The first-person narrators speak directly to the reader: "So anyway, as I was saying," "I'm not saying that to be a smartass" and even "Hmpphh, whatever." This playfulness often masks hurt: protagonists range from a female veterinarian who is gang-raped by drunken farmers to a pop singer isolated by fame and drugs, to a traveling salesman who plays a role in a terrible traffic accident. The collection's shorter stories are slight; nothing much happens, or problems raised are shrugged off without any attempt at resolution. The book's gems, on the other hand, delight by adding action to the mix. In "Junior," two boys borrow dad's Jaguar, with disastrous results; in "Clic-Clac" two sisters help their brother jump-start a love affair with a delectable colleague. If love is one recurring theme, another is class, particularly the distinction between middle and upper classes in French society. In "This Man and This Woman," a couple's loveless marriage is equated with their predictable taste in clothing and furnishings: "It's all kind of nouveau riche, but fortunately they don't realize it." Deftly translated by Marker, this uneven but entertaining collection displays a deliciously Gallic insouciance.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 321 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; 1 edition (December 2, 2003)
  • Publication Date: December 2, 2003
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OCXG7I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on December 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I understand that Anna Gavalda is French, and the evidence is her wry, Gallic humor and tendency to understate the obvious in her stories. Ostensibly a collection of love stories, Gavalda's collection really runs the gamut of many emotions.
Some leave you rueful, others make you wish she had stretched them out and made even more of the story. Some shock--"Catgut" is an example of an emotionally charged story of horror and revenge. "Junior" is a sad story of a young man's folly -- and not a misstep with love. My favorites of the collection are "For Years", as a man meets his lost love, and learns she is dying, "Pregnant", a tale of shock and sadness that many of us have had to face, and the lead tale, "Courting Rituals of the Saint-Germain-des-Pres", in which a young woman surfaces her doubts about love at first sight by finding a cellular pretense to leave a man she is attracted to.
Gavalda has an interesting, rich voice, slants her stories from several perspectives, keeps you refreshed and reading. When you are finished, disappointment that there is no more lets you know that you are truly in the presence of a great young writer.
Exciting, bold, makes you want to read more by Gavalda!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lila Louise on November 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was in need of a book and I didn't know where to begin...so I began shopping for titles. This captivates you right off. The novel is simply a defining moment in writing. I think it is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read, in that it stays with you. Another unique ability this author has is she masters the ability to change "voice" of her characters from story to story. I have lent this book out numerous times and never without fail- everyone adores it. I would say the only possiblity that you might not be captivated by it is if you don't take the time to let it dissolve in your mind. Truly a fine fine book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
"I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere" --- this echoes what we all feel in our hearts. For some it may be a feeling they harbor secretly, while for others it's a well advertised fact told to all they know, and for those few who always seem in control of their lives this feeling hides in the shadows of their heart but is always there --- for everyone, everywhere wishes for that special someone.
Anna Gavalda has captured these unusual yet down-to-earth stories with so much charisma. From the aging singer who is tired of life but who finds love unexpectedly, to the man in the "lead story" who faces a dire dilemma, these are all stories with an essence of truth in them. They deal with broken hearts, lost loves, happiness and sadness. And at times, these stories may lead you to think more deeply about your own past, your secrets and fears.
I must admit that at first I found the book daunting to read, as Anna Gavalda writes in a very straightforward manner. For someone like me who enjoys reading crime novels, thrillers and lighthearted fare, the writing was quite different. But I eventually warmed to the book, and was both entertained and touched by its many wonderful stories. Whether they mean anything to you or not, these stories will open your eyes to situations you may never have imagined.
To sit down and read a book based purely on life takes maturity and an understanding beyond all that you know and believe. Perhaps it is time for many of you readers out there --- secrets, fears and all --- to delve deep into your soul and look beyond your circle of life to learn about the reality of those around you.
--- Reviewed by Vin Patel
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Abeer Y. Hoque on June 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I wish the oceans didn't separate the lit worlds so. British books sometimes make it over this way, and sometimes translations of foreign language books, but not enough. So it took a hearty recommendation from a friend who lives in Paris for me to pick up this fabulous French book by Anna Gavalda: I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere, which took the French world by storm, and then went international. I myself devoured it in two days.

IWSWWfMS is a collection of stories, some so short as to be vignettes, but don't imagine that narrative or character are sacrificed, not even for a split second. The personalities leap off the page, and the stories just get better and better (and they start off great).

The range of characters is awesome, and their stories precisely and deeply described. The language is fresh and modern (perhaps a little too much so, but that's maybe my only complaint - it comes off almost slangy and careless sometimes - but maybe this is the translation).

I can remember almost every one of the stories now, but the ones that jumped out at me included the one about the returning military soldier who falls for his brother's girlfriend, the one about a pregnancy, the one about a chance encounter between two would be lovers, the one about the two rich boys who take daddy's car out to a party, the one about a female vet working in a rural village, and the one about the sales rep whose mindless error changes his life. Oh I remember another complaint - unimaginative titles, so I won't bother looking them up for this review. But don't worry, you don't need them. You can read IWSWWfMS in one delicious shot, and you won't regret it.
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