Cover image for Making love
Making love
Toussaint, Jean-Philippe.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Faire l'amour. English
Publication Information:
New York : New Press [2004]

Physical Description:
116 pages ; 20 cm
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An immediate bestseller in France, Making Love is an original and daring retelling of a classic theme: the end of an affair. As much an exploration of setting and place as it is of the affair that comes apart in them, Making Love follows a couple's final days together in Japan. Toussaint writes with an economy and restraint that evoke the distinct imagery of film while allowing a startling proximity to the feelings of his characters. The result is vertiginous, standing traditional images on their head and transposing the conflict and confusion of lost intimacy onto the labyrinthine ultramodernism of Tokyo and Kyoto. Brilliantly written and strikingly original, this is a stunning work of new fiction from one of Europe's most promising authors.

Author Notes

Jean-Philippe Toussaint was born in 1957 in Brussels. He has written five previous novels, including Monsieur and The Bathroom .

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The final chapter of an unhappy love affair is an old story, and Belgian novelist Toussaint (Monsieur) gives it a Sartrian flavor by mixing in large helpings of existential alienation. The woman in this couple is Marie, a Parisian fashion designer who is by turns creative, sexy, beguiling, exhausting, cruel, selfish, and neurotic. The man is our story's nameless narrator, who is both attracted to and repelled by the intensely emotional demands of his high-maintenance lover. We know things will go badly when, in the story's opening lines, Marie's lover assures her he will not throw into her eyes the hydrochloric acid he happens to carry around in his pocket. And so they dance a never-ending compulsive tango of attraction, separation, and reconciliation. Their story is set in contemporary Tokyo, which Toussaint successfully evokes as a noirish, alienating city, lonely and tomblike in its high-rise modernity-a perfect projection of the narrator's inner turmoil. Toussaint is less successful at sustaining enough (but not too much) dramatic tension to propel the reader to the story's inevitable conclusion. By the time we get there, we're exhausted. Recommended where there is a demand for contemporary European literature.-Janet Evans, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Lib., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.