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French contemporary fiction

(16 Posts)
RazaMeTimbers Wed 26-Feb-14 18:07:54

Apart from a few books I've picked off the shelves, I'm a bit lost in the world of French literature but would love to discover new authors (to read in French).

In the past few years I've read:

Amélie Nothomb 'Ni d'eve ni d'adam' (didn't get into this at all)
Marc Levy 'Et si c'était vrai' (easy reading)
Jean Teulé 'Le magasin des suicides' (Loved this and have just realised they've made it into a film, yah)
Frédéric Beigbeder '99f' (loved this too, also a film, how did I not know that!)

Would love some ideas. Not chick lit/women's fiction, but not political/historical either.


Alfonso1 Thu 27-Feb-14 10:39:07

I have just finished reading Gregoire Delacourt -La List de mes envies which I enjoyed.

IndridCold Thu 27-Feb-14 14:18:46

One of my favorite French authors is Fred Vargas. She writes detective stories, but they are well-written and funny.

I have just discovered a writer called Daniel Pennac and have really enjoyed one of the books in his Saga Malaussène - Au Bonheur des Ogres is the first in that series.

Another favourite is Didier Van Cauwelaert - Un Aller Simple won the Prix Goncourt and is very funny and a bit sad.

Philippe Claudel’s Le Rapport de Brodeck and Les Ames Grises are excellent, quite dark subject matter but wonderful.

Sebastien Japrisot, who wrote Un long dimanche de fiançailles is also worth looking out for. Also Anna Gavalda and Hélène Grémillon.

RazaMeTimbers Thu 27-Feb-14 21:56:36

Oh that'll keep me busy for a while. Thanks Alfonso, thanks Indrid. Off to the library tomorrow to see if they have any of those.

MaKettle Thu 27-Feb-14 22:20:24

Anything by David Foenkinos - La délicatesse was made into a film with Audrey Tautou. Liked Nos séparations too.

Tisy10 Thu 27-Feb-14 22:25:55

Anything by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt. His cycle de l'invisible series of novellas is amazing (but be prepared to cry at Oscar et la Dame Rose).

RazaMeTimbers Fri 28-Feb-14 22:08:05

Thanks MaKettle, thanks Tisy.
Love Audrey Tautou.

BriocheBriocheBrioche Fri 28-Feb-14 22:12:22

One day I will read all these books! I have a good level of spoken French but don't read anything other than newspapers and magazines. Could anyone recommend a book to get me started? Maybe even a kids/teen book!
Sorry for the hijack!

RazaMeTimbers Sat 01-Mar-14 09:35:29

Le Petit Prince? It's probably the stock answer to your question but I'm a big fan. I even wrote a blog post on it this year (

RazaMeTimbers Sat 01-Mar-14 09:35:59

Le Petit Prince? It's probably the stock answer to your question but I'm a big fan. I even wrote a blog post on it this year (

trying again with link!

RazaMeTimbers Sat 01-Mar-14 09:36:50

IndridCold Sat 01-Mar-14 11:59:59

Brioche you could also try the Petit Nicolas books by Goscinny and Sempe, they are brilliant for brushing up your French. Written for kids, but enjoyed by adults too, a bit like a French Just William smile.

BriocheBriocheBrioche Sat 01-Mar-14 19:39:22

Thank you for your suggestions - I will head to fnac on monday and give them a go.

RazaMeTimbers Sun 02-Mar-14 22:28:56

Petit Nicolas is a great suggestion. Plus there's the newish (2013? 2012?) film to follow-up with. So funny.

RazaMeTimbers Sun 02-Mar-14 22:32:52

Oops, meant to put in an update.

Got 'Bernard' by David Foenkinos out of the library (author suggested by MaKettle). Like it so far. Dark humour. Simple plotline, simple language. Exactly what I was looking for. Plus it's very short so I should finish in another couple of sittings.

Also took out 'Lorsque j'étais une oeuvre d'art' by Eric Emanuel Schmitt. Looks interesting.

Thanks everyone. It would be great to keep this thread going if anyone has any more suggestions or reviews.

tb Thu 06-Mar-14 17:18:22

Francoise Bourdin and Janine Boissard are fairly easy to read.

I've read a few of Jean-Christophe Grangé's crime novels, and they're good, just rather creepy. The first one I read was Serment des Limbes about negative near death experiences.

I've found that translations of English writers are easier to read - don't know whether it's the fact that the cultural background is more familiar.

I've also read a couple of crime novels by a retired policeman, but can't remember his name, they were quite witty from memory.

I've also read quite a lot of regional ones about the Maquis and other true Limousin-based resistance ones.

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