Thursday, August 19, 2010

PROUST'S OVERCOAT by Lorenza Foschini

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

This slim little book tells the story of Jacques Guerin, a prominent profumier and collector of rare books.  Guerin's greatest passion was all things Proust. He scoured the bookshops of France looking for lost and forgotten books and manuscripts as well as ephemera from Proust's life. When Proust's brother dies and Guerin learns that the family is disposing of all of Marcel's wordly goods, he goes on a quest to gather as much of the pieces of the writer's life as he can.  The greatest prize--Proust's overcoat.

This is an odd little book. At first, it was difficult to know where it was going as it jumps right into the story.  I think it speaks to people who are passionate collectors. I was watching the movie GHOST WORLD the other night and was reminded of this book. In the movie, Seymour collects a variety of vintage records and posters and claims that it is a substitute for real human interaction.  One must wonder what drove Guerin to become such a passionate collector of Proust. What drives any of us to collect?

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended with reservations. The book is short and very quick read. It is often amusing and gives the reader a little insight into the world of a crazed collector. In the end, it didn't offer much, however. If felt ultimately forgettable.

Should you wish to purchase this title, this book link will take you to IndieBound.

I'm an IndieBound affiliate and receive a small commission on any sales:

Proust's Overcoat


孫邦柔 said...
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Tina Peterson said...

Hi, thanks for following my blog today. I'm trying some new hops today so I can meet some new people. I'm following you now - thanks!

I really like the cover on the Proust's Overcoat. I'm really looking forward to reading over your blog more. I have so much to learn about reviewing books.

Tina "The Book Lady"