02 May 2011


When I saw a list of new NYRB Classics announcing the publicataion of Jean-Patrick Manchette's Fatale, I briefly didn't care what the book was about.  I wanted it because of the cover design.

Ah-mazing photography by Neil Krug.  I would buy a print but this series, with Joni Alexander as model, is out of my price range as well as, I think, sold out.

However, disappointment in my inability to purchase good art aside, the book is good, too.  If you've ever seen Le Circle Rouge or French New Wave films like The 400 Blows then you'll understand the stylistic nature of Machette's story.  "Aimee" is the ultimate femme fatale, no pun intended.  As the reader, one is never quite sure what her motivation is - contract killer?  Hit woman?  Sociopathic serial killer?  Essentially, she means trouble for a sleepy French town.

Fatale is a short book - a novella, really, clocking in at only 90 pages - but well worth reading.  Go - read it.

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