Dear Reader by Paul Fournel

At the beginning of the year I had high hopes of broadening my reading horizons, picking up books by authors of diverse nationalities and reading genres that I wouldn’t usually pick up; so far I’m kind of failing with that, not on purpose, just because until this week I haven’t been buying anything new and have been choosing my next read from my existing collection.
However, this week I popped into Watermark Books in King’s Cross station and picked up two books, one of which was Dear Reader by French author Paul Fournel.

I urge anyone interested in the publishing industry to pick up this short novel and give it a go. The story itself is told in fragments, short chapters that do not always give you all of the information you want but that fit together to paint a picture of the life of the protagonist, Richard Dubois, and his experience in publishing with the introduction of reading electronically. The book discusses a love of reading, a loss of passion for your career, a critical view of changing technology and incredible insight into the politics of French publishing.

Despite being set in modern day France, Dear Reader has a writing style that almost makes it feel like a Fitzgerald or a Hemingway, a richness of language yet simplicity that really sucks you into the setting; it is amazing what an author can do in 180,000 characters.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this short but impactful read and I will definitely be looking into reading more of these Pushkin Press translated paperbacks.

4 out of 5 stars!

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