The Age of Reinvention by Karine Tull, translated by Sam Taylor [in Library Journal]
Fast-forward almost two decades: Sam and Nina are poor and desperate but still together in Paris; Samir is a rich, powerful, and newsworthy Manhattan attorney specializing in women’s rights – utterly ironic as his marriage vows can’t keep even underage teens out of his clutches. Gone is Samir’s Tunisian Arab heritage; he’s not only using Sam’s shortened name, he’s also appropriated Sam’s Jewish past. When the threesome meet again, it sets in motion another “age of reinvention.”
A bestselling finalist for the prestigious 2015 Prix Goncourt, this work arrives Stateside with something lost in translation: the triumvirate devolves from unlikable to unbelievable, further marred by tedious writing (cloying cleverness, constant footnotes). More vexing is listening to 12 hours of such fodder narrated with inappropriate direction: the writing states early that Samir’s English is “tinged with an aristocratic accent,” yet the usually reliable George Newbern affects unrecognizable tones; Sam and Nina speak to each other in Inspector Clouseau-esque faux pronunciation.
Verdict: For a better Franco import, consider Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation.
Published: 2015 (United States)