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Fear and Trembling: A Novel Paperback – April 18, 2002
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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“Elegantly written . . . Nothomb demonstrates a shrewd understanding of the intricate ways Japanese relationships are made and spoiled.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“[A] polished little satire.” ―The Wall Street Journal
“A scathingly funny novella.” ―Newsday (New York)
“Amélie Nothomb adds humor, the ingredient most often missing in other writers from France of her generation, the ingredient most difficult to translate.” ―Los Angeles Times
“An utterly charming, humorous tale of East meets West . . . Nothomb is a terrific writer whose writing style is simple, honest, and elegant. Very highly recommended.” ―Library Journal
“A sharp, satiric new novel . . . Readers are sure to be won over by her spare, self-deprecating and wise tale.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Highly entertaining . . . Fear and Trembling (a perfect title) is filled with both droll observations and wry bitch gags.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“There can be no doubt about Amélie Nothomb's talent: her imagination, energy, facility, fertility, her edgy use of language all prove that she is a writer of enormous gifts. Her writing is as sharp as a whip, the perfect antidote to sleep-inducing novels. She wakes you up. She shakes you up . . . Fear and Trembling will keep readers entertained and on the edge of their seats until the final page.” ―Le Figaro
“More than anything this is a beautiful love story--in which Sappho meets the Marquis de Sade.” ―Le Nouvel Observateur
“Fear and Trembling is Nothomb at her finest. Never has she been so daring or inspired . . . This book is a small miracle. On second thought, no 'small' about it; it is plain and simple a miracle.” ―Le Point
About the Author
Belgian by nationality, Amelie Nothomb was born in Kobe, Japan, and currently lives in Paris. She is the author of eight novels, translated into fourteen languages. Fear and Trembling won the Grand Prix of the Academie Francaise and the Prix Internet du Livre.
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Just keep in mind that the author, Amelie Nothomb, is someone whose style you either love or love to hate.
I also strongly recommend the film based on this novelas well as another film based on her novel "Tokyo Fiancée" (English title).
"Fear and Trembling" is supposedly a novel, but it appears to be based on Nothomb's personal experiences. It's a quick and moderately enjoyable read, with a not very flattering view into the soul crushing world of a large Japanese corporation.
It makes a super point... when trying so hard to please, she is being shown: "her lack of respect", towards traditions to the famous and well known Japanese company.
Such a small book, so nice and easy to read, very entertaining....
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.