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Sophie missed the train

Samuel Earle: Carrère’s Casual Presence, 4 February 2021

97,196 Words: Essays 
by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by John Lambert.
Vintage, 304 pp., £9.99, December 2020, 978 1 78470 582 4
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... In​ 1993, frustrated and unfulfilled, Emmanuel Carrère was waiting on two replies – one from Satan, the other from God. He was 35, with four novels behind him but not enough fame for his liking. On 9 January, a newspaper story offered hope: in a small town in the east of France, a man called Jean-Claude Romand had murdered his wife and children, and then his parents and their dog ...

It’s him, Eddie

Gary Indiana: Carrère’s Limonov, 23 October 2014

Limonov: A Novel 
by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by John Lambert.
Allen Lane, 340 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 84614 820 0
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... The prologue​ of Limonov places Emmanuel Carrère in Moscow, circa 2006, at a commemoration ceremony outside the Dubrovka Theatre, where in 2002 the Nord-Ost hostage crisis ended when the Russian military pumped Fentanyl gas into the theatre, indiscriminately killing well over a hundred hostages along with their Chechen captors ...

The it’s your whole life

Iain Bamforth: Jean-Claude Romand, 22 March 2001

The Adversary: A True Story of Murder and Deception 
by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Bloomsbury, 183 pp., £14.99, January 2001, 0 7475 5189 8
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... murder that week, on the day he finished a biography of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, Emmanuel Carrère, writer, père de famille, and Romand’s contemporary, finally decided that the only person who could answer the questions that had begun to trouble him was Romand himself. Six months after the murders he wrote to Romand in jail: I should ...

Kick over the Scenery

Stephanie Burt: Philip K. Dick, 3 July 2008

Four Novels of the 1960s: ‘The Man in the High Castle’, ‘The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch’, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, ‘Ubik’ 
by Philip K. Dick.
Library of America, 830 pp., $35, May 2008, 978 1 59853 009 4
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Five Novels of the 1960s and 1970s: ‘Martian Time-Slip’, ‘Dr Bloodmoney’, ‘Now Wait for Last Year’, ‘Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said’, ‘A Scanner Darkly’ 
by Philip K. Dick.
Library of America, 1128 pp., $40, August 2008, 978 1 59853 025 4
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... even more by the decade’s end, but Dick was: ‘a thousand tablets of Methedrine a week’, Emmanuel Carrère says in his biography, ‘and 40 mg of Stelazine a day – not to mention the various little fixes … that he could never turn down.’1 By 1970 Dick lived in the house whose highs and lows (mostly lows) he depicted in A Scanner ...

Episteme, My Arse

Christopher Tayler: Laurent Binet, 15 June 2017

The Seventh Function of Language 
by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor.
Harvill Secker, 390 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 910701 58 4
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... an effort to rejig relations between fiction and history that puts Binet among such figures as Emmanuel Carrère, Javier Cercas and Álvaro Enrigue. And on another it’s an exercise in pure intellectual slapstick of the kind that French humourists do well, though if Binet has also read Ellis’s Glamorama (1998), a parodic conspiracy thriller about ...

Enrique of the Silver Tongue

Christopher Tayler: A ‘Novel without Fiction’, 22 March 2018

The Impostor 
by Javier Cercas, translated by Frank Wynne.
MacLehose Press, 429 pp., £20, November 2017, 978 0 85705 650 4
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... him look bad out of hostility to the Catalan left.) One model for The Impostor, Cercas says, was Emmanuel Carrère’s The Adversary (2000), in which Carrère doesn’t efface himself from the non-fictional story he tells. That book’s subject was an impostor who killed his wife, his two children, his parents and his ...

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