Book #11

The Gigolo by Françoise Sagan

'The sap had dried up; the sap, the incentive, the fever, the desire to do, to act, to act the fool, make love, create.'

A middle-aged woman breaks with her handsome young lover; a placid husband is suspected of infidelity; and a dying man reflects on his extramarital affairs, in these tales of love and disillusionment from the author of Bonjour Tristesse.

I was really looking forward to these, and they didn’t disappoint. Sagan looks at relationships here, and mostly at how they trip us up and drag us down. She looks at the rise and fall of love, the temptation and guilt of adultery, wondering, in the end, after youth has left us, what was the meaning of it all.

Her prose is typically sensual and steeped in emotion, suggesting questions to us about our own relationships and those of others we know. Some of the passages here astounded me with their beauty, and I imagine Sagan writing these freely, dripping them off her pen with small effort. The way she fits whole lives into a tiny story is truly something to admire.

I have a few Sagan stories still on my reading list, and this has only made me more desperate to read them. A master.