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Fear and Trembling: A Novel Paperback – April 18, 2002
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Which is not to say that she doesn't screw up culturally, because she does-multiple times-but often the underlying problem is not her, but in the system around her. Nothomb uses these little catastrophes as windows to criticize Japanese business and social structures with scathing attacks, most notably a long discourse on the plight of the Japanese woman. Amélie is contrasted with her immediate boss, an immaculately put together beauty who is a lowly middle-manager, but still the highest level female in the company. Amélie has an odd, vaguely erotic, attraction to her which complicates everything. When the entire office witnesses (but tries not to ) this woman's verbally rape and humiliation at the hands of the boss, Amélie finds this emblematic of Japanese society's ostrich-like tendencies. While this may all sound deep and dark, the book is actually quite lively and humorous. That said, it's not a breathtaking book.Read more ›
I am amazed at the previous reviews, even the positive ones, which make the elementary mistake of thinking "Fear and Trembling" by Amelié Nothomb is a documentary portrayal of personal events.
Please remember, it is a work of *fiction*, not an *autobiography*, however much it may or may not draw on the author's personal experiences. If you read it as a diary of the author's personal life, you will hate it as a tale of cruelty and willfulness.
If you read it as a *fictional* tale which draws from and exaggerates all-too-recognizable human thoughts and emotions, you will admire the author's and translator's considerable talents.
Those reviewers who absolutely hated the book seem to have completely forgetten about the "willing suspension of disbelief" that we always bring to theatrical or fictional works, so that we may enter the author's mind for a short time and judge how skillfully he or she put together the elements of a story to fascinate, horrify, or amuse us.
The translator, Adriana Hunter, deserves the highest praise for her elegant prose, which perfectly captures the spirit and conciseness of the best writing in French. I fell in love with the prose, which I consider some of the best writing in English I've ever encountered. I look forward to reading the book in its original language.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With her black funny mood, ingenuity and intelligence makes us feel that inteligence is a matter of perspectives. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ariane Enríquez
I chose "dark" as one of the adjectives because the "big picture" is dark, but the author makes all the events funny, so if someone describes it as light-hearted,... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Arielviola
Having lived in Japan for 5 years I can relate to many facets of this book. It had me in tears multiple times, laughing thinking of the sheer craziness of the experience.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
It captured a lot of my observations and experience working for a Japanese company in the 1980s with humor and compassion.Published 23 months ago by Kindle Customer
I read this book in French first and English second, just to make sure I wasn't simply missing some greater, more profound meaning. Read morePublished on June 14, 2014 by Michelle Brown
This is a gem of a book: short, easy reading, but full of life lessons. Amelie Nothomb takes us on a journey. Read morePublished on June 5, 2014 by Maria