The Pigeon

The Pigeon

Hardback

By (author) Patrick Süskind, Translated by John E. Wood

List price $17.08

Unavailable - AbeBooks may have this title.

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Hardback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 112mm x 160mm 209g
  • Publication date: 20 October 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0747522561
  • ISBN 13: 9780747522560
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 531,549

Product description

This is the story of a day in the meticulously ordered life of Jonathan Noel. Set in Paris, it reveals the tensions that can push such a person to the brink of insanity. Patrick Suskind has also written "Perfume", "The Story of Mr Sommer" and a play, "The Double Bass".

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Editorial reviews

Suskind, German author of the vivid, stylish, but overrated Perfume (1986), a fable of human stink, now offers a more conventional, clinical serving of dour existentialism: one day in the stultifying life of Paris bank-guard Jonathan Noel - whose narrow, rigidly controlled existence is thrown into fearsome chaos by a tiny invasion from nature. Now past 50, Noel lost his parents to a concentration camp in 1942 - and has ever since, only half-understandably, sought "monotone serenity and uneventfulness." So, after being abandoned by his new wife in 1954, Noel carved out his niche: the impassive bank job; utterly regular, utterly solitary habits; a tiny seventh-floor-walkup room, being purchased outright on an installment plan after 30 years of renting ("the only thing that had proved dependable in his life"). But then, "in August 1984, on a Friday morning," Noel opens his door, sees a pigeon ("the epitome of chaos and anarchy") crouching right there in the hall - and becomes unhinged: "your whole life has been a lie, you've made a mess of it, because it's been upended by a pigeon, you must kill it, but you can't kill it. . ." Terrified of further encounters with the pigeon, Noel flees with a packed suitcase through green spatterings of bird-dirt in the hall, "certain he would never be able to return." For the first time he is absent-minded at the bank; he's filled with "raging self-hatred," especially after tearing a hole in his trousers; he imagines himself becoming like the local bum he sees "shitting in the street." Amid echoes of Perfume, he is soon railing against the hot, stinking city and everything in it - till, after a near-suicidal night in a flophouse, the status quo is quietly restored. Possibly symbolic (Noel=Christ?), probably readable as a man-vs.-universe fable, marginally amusing in a cruel way - and grimly impressive, at taut novella-length, as a cool close-up study of severe obsessive-compulsive neurosis. (Kirkus Reviews)