Lie with Me
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Lie with Me

4.29 (1,600 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Advocate's Best Gay Novel of 2019
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
O, The Oprah Magazine's Best LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2019
The Wall Street Journal's Ten Books You'll Want to Read this Spring
Out's Best Queer Books of April 2019
TheSkimm's LGBTQ+ books to celebrate Pride THE #1 FRENCH BESTSELLER "Stunning and heart-gripping." --André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name The award-winning, bestselling French novel by Philippe Besson--"the French Brokeback Mountain" (Elle)--about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald. We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I'm frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I'm holding on to him, that I'm holding on to him outside. Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he's never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair. Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson's powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love--and the heartbreaking passage of time.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 142 x 224 x 18mm | 249g
  • English
  • 1501197878
  • 9781501197871
  • 21,090

Review Text

"[A] study in intimacy ... the novel captures the full tragedy of the closet ... Equal parts Andre Aciman and Marguerite Duras."
-Ayten Tartici, The New York Times Book Review

"An elegiac tale of first, hidden love between two teen-age boys who have no chance of a shared future, Lie With Me sold more than a hundred thousand copies in France, where it won several prizes and is being made into a movie. Elle deemed it "the French Brokeback Mountain" ... The book reads like a photograph, faded but composed: the bac, linden trees, a green Simca 1100, Lino Ventura. We can see even if we don't know. Call it a memoir of a memory."
-Lauren Collins, The New Yorker

"This Year's Call Me by Your Name Is French: More Meta But Just As Hot ... Lie With Me is the story of a successful (unnamed) French novelist ... who catches a glimpse of what he thinks is a past lover in a hotel. Triggered by the sighting, he traces the story of his secret high-school affair with that lover: It was brief in tenure but formed the mold into which he has since tried to press every other romantic relationship."
-Hillary Kelly, Vulture

"One of the best novels you'll read this year was actually published in France in 2017. Translated by the actress and author Molly Ringwald, Lie With Me by Philippe Besson brilliantly reminds readers of the joys and agonies of love."
-Jeffrey Masters, The Advocate

"[A] tender, sensuous novel."
-New York Times Book Review, 9 New Books We Recommend This Week

"Lie with Me succeeds as a novel because of Besson's graceful writing, beautifully translated by Ringwald. Besson is a gifted stylist, and he infuses Philippe's story with the right notes of sadness and longing. . . . perfectly captures what it's like to be young and in love ... [a] lovely novel."
-Michael Schaub, NPR.org

"Want to be hip, cool and on trend? Read Phillippe Besson's story of young first love, Lie With Me, masterfully translated from the French by Molly Ringwald ... good and sad and wonderfully beautiful."
-Ciaran Freeman, America Magazine

"French author Philippe Besson's international best seller Lie With Me is now available Stateside thanks to actor, author, and erstwhile Parisian Molly Ringwald's fluid translation. Told in three parts, the slender novel recounts a clandestine romance between two teenage boys in 1984 ... More than 20 years after his last encounter with Thomas, Philippe runs into his former lover's doppelganger, and a chance discovery shatters the gentle reverie of the past. Small ripples can make the fiercest waves."
-Lauren Mechling, Vogue

"A devastating read about first love ... The novel is so irresistible, it can't be put down ... Lie With Me is the must-read gay novel of the summer."
-Gary Kramer, Philadelphia Gay News

"Lie with Me will enthrall the reader from start to finish. The prose is so spot on. Besson seems incapable of wasting a word. His descriptions, his feelings, and his memories are precise and captivating."
-Declan Henry, New York Journal of Books

"Introspective and evocative, Lie With Me is an absorbing story about passionate love thwarted by class differences and homophobia. The slim novel takes on a great deal in a short amount of space and establishes Molly Ringwald as a skilled translator."
-Michael Kaler, Lambda Literary

"Besson's Lie With Me-translated from French to English by none other than actress Molly Ringwald!-tells the story of Philippe, a gay man who recounts his heady, all-consuming first love as a teen growing up in France in the 1980s. The André Aciman-approved coming-of-age tale has already racked up a slew of accolades, including notable mentions from The New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, The Advocate, and more. It's a No. 1 best-seller en France, too."
-NewNowNext

"For your friend who can't stop talking about Call Me By Your Name ... Say hi to Philippe Besson's Lie With Me. Originally published in French, Molly Ringwald translated the book f
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Review quote

"There's much book-to-filmstar appeal in this moving, well-plotted tale: Elle dubbed it "the French Brokeback Mountain"; there's something of Call Me by Your Name's Elio in Philippe, who lives in the books he reads and writes; and actress and writer Ringwald ably translates."
--Booklist "Moving ... Besson's writing and Ringwald's smooth translation provide emotional impact."
--Publishers Weekly "Besson is a thoughtful writer who can strike home with vivid imagery . . . . [and] deftly translated [by Ringwald]."
--Kirkus
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About Philippe Besson

Philippe Besson is an author, screenwriter, and playwright. His first novel, In the Absence of Men, was awarded the Emmanuel-Roblès Prize in 2001, and he is also the author of, among others, Late Autumn (Grand Prize RTL-Lire), A Boy from Italy, and The Atlantic House. In 2017 he published Lie With Me, which has sold more than 120,000 copies and was awarded the Maisons de la Presse Prize, and A Character from a Novel, an intimate portrait of Emmanuel Macron during his presidential campaign. His novels have been translated into twenty different languages. Molly Ringwald's writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Vogue, and she is the author of the bestselling novel-in-stories When It Happens to You.
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Rating details

1,600 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 48% (762)
4 37% (592)
3 13% (202)
2 2% (39)
1 0% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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