Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Reminder stickers, overall like new condition. Buy with Confidence. Satisfaction is Guaranteed.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

L'Affaire Hardcover – September 29, 2003

3.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.99 $0.01

The Underground Railroad
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Le Divorce and Le Mariage, Johnson polished her skill for sophisticated social comedy involving the cultural disconnections of Americans in France. Here, she perfects it in a deliciously entertaining story of a group of people drawn together-and divided by-the sharply different laws of succession in France and Britain. Amy Hawkins, a beautiful, naive, suddenly very rich Californian dot-com entrepreneur, comes to a posh ski resort in the French Alps as part of her plan for cultural self-improvement. When she generously pays for transporting the dying Adrian Venn, a publisher crushed in a landslide, back to his native England, her humanitarian gesture backfires with exquisite irony. Venn's two grown English children, his illegitimate French daughter, his new, much younger American wife and their toddler son become embroiled in a classic scenario of quarreling heirs, each seething with expectations at the expense of the others. Add a stuffy British solicitor who disdains French customs, his French counterpart who equally despises the English, an intellectual and TV personality who demonizes Americans, a lusty Austrian baron, a chic Parisienne hostess and other expertly drawn characters, and the comedy moves into high gear, but never at the expense of insights into human nature. Johnson's dexterity with plot builds astounding but credible complications, and she is adept at rendering a kind of fugal counterpoint in which each character misunderstands what each of the others thinks. Because love and money are never far apart in Johnson's oeuvre, four affairs take place, with mixed results. Johnson is more droll than Henry James, to whom she's been compared, and she's as witty as a modern-day Voltaire. Vraiment, L'Affaire, c'est irresistible!
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Like the wildly successful Le Divorce (1997) and Le Mariage (2000), Johnson's latest novel explores the strange alchemy that occurs when American and European social mores collide. On the cusp of her thirtieth birthday, Californian Amy Hawkins arrives at a posh ski resort in the French Alps just as a freak series of avalanches lands two of her fellow vacationers in the hospital. The victims are a wealthy British publisher and his latest wife, and before long the children of his previous marriages arrive to sort out his affairs. Amy, who had hoped to spend her vacation improving her skiing and acquiring the veneer of effortless sophistication she envies in Europeans, finds herself caught up in the tangle of medical and legal questions that surround the comatose couple: What will happen to their one-year-old son and his 14-year-old stepbrother, Kip? If the couple dies in France, will British or French inheritance laws prevail? Johnson's novel is exactly the kind of intricate, bittersweet comedy of manners her many fans have come to expect. Demand will be high, especially following the summer release of the Merchant Ivory film version of Le Divorce. Meredith Parets
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Johnson, Diane
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Book; 1st edition (September 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052594740X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525947400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was very slow-moving, and did very little to grasp my attention, and even less to hold it. The beginning started off alright- great setting, interesting descriptions which gave the reader an indication of upcoming conflicts...but wow did this book drag!!!
I read three other books in the time it took me to read this one. Even when I was down to the last ten pages, I couldn't sit still long enough to see how it ended, and just waited until I had enough energy to stay awake for the last chapter.
This book was a tedious read. I am a fan of Diane Johnson and was more than disappointed with this novel. The characters were either loathesome or poorly developed, and while the setting was ideal as the backdrop of a great story, the almost non-existent plot was dragged out for about 200 pages too many. Either this book needed to be one hundred pages long, or it needed a bit more excitement to keep me interested.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Amy Hawkins, strikingly rich, blond and American, comes to believe she has no sense of culture. Having sold her share in a tech company that netted her an obscene amount of money, she takes herself and her good intentions off to France where she thinks she can learn things of value for meaningful living. While she waits for a suitable apartment in Paris to be fitted out for her, she dons a silver ski suit and hooks up with a handsome instructor at a small but highly fashionable resort in the French Alps. An entertaining couple of days into her stay, the weather turns wicked, loosing a cavalcade of snow that gathers itself into a dodgy avalanche, burying several skiers lacking the requisite speed to get out of its way. One couple, Adrian and Kerry Venn, are among the unfortunate stragglers, leaving their infant child and her teenage brother to fend for themselves in the Hotel St. Croix Bernard at the foot of the slopes.
While the couple lies in a coma, their combined children gather around with conflicting motives and with a common purpose: to protect their stake in the theoretical inheritance. Despite Kerry's signs of stirring, the outlook for Adrian is grim. Not sure whether or not to root for his survival, the children hover in an attempt to ensure their portion of the estate, which will be divided far differently depending on whether he dies in France or England. Never mind his desires stated in the will, and never mind his new wife. Laws are laws.
That's when benevolent American Amy Hawkins steps in to save the day. She believes airlifting the near-dead Adrian to the highly regarded Brompton hospital in England will give him a better chance at recovery, so she shells out the exorbitant sum for the trip. However, Amy's actions backfire on her.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Thank you, Diane Johnson, for being a true heiress to Henry James. When clueless Amy meets a cross-section of European, Paris-centric, upperish-crusted, slef-promoters, she shows both brash courage at sticking to her principals of mutual aid, and an open curiosity at how to, if not fit in, then at least not stick out. Unfortunately, her principals and new wealth always make her stick out, bringing into question what American generosity and world-involvement really are and lining her path of good intentions with one corpse and a number of disappointments from those depending on her. If there's a flaw, it's in the unexplored character of the novel's surprise villain -- but when an author is juggling at least eight points-of-view as seamlessly as Johnson is here, well...I for one am in a forgiving mood even if it means a miss on perfection.

Brava!
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on December 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My reading group wanted something light for our January read so we selected this book based on a newspaper review in which Ms. Johnson is hailed as a Pulitzer Prize contender. I doubt this book is going to win her any literary awards! L'Affaire had unlikeable, boring characters about whom I was completely uninterested. The plot was silly and bordering on the absurd without being even slightly humorous. Don't waste your money or time on this one.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As a Francophile, I enjoy stories set in France as well as cultural studies, especially between Americans and the French, but this book missed the mark in a few areas. It began poorly, with badly written, run-on sentences, although her writing style gradually improved. I got into the story well enough and kept reading because I was curious how it was all going to turn out, but I agree that she lost steam in the end. The characters were not altogether likable, including the protagonist, Amy Hawkins, who was too naive and simple in many ways and clueless about relationships. There were random sexual interludes that seemed baseless, with too many characters believing they were in love when it was obviously lust. This was not a group of people I would want to know, and while it was interesting to see their thoughts through Diane Johnson's omniscient point of view, it just made them that much more ridiculous. Perhaps this was a satire, but I don't see how this author has been a repeat finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award! It's entertaining but not nearly as absorbing as I would have hoped. (I bought it at a library book sale and am glad I only paid $4 for it. I would definitely not pay anywhere near the list price for this book and would recommend buying it used.) I would have given it 2.5 stars; when is Amazon going to make that possible???
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews