An international best seller and finalist for the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary award, The Age of Reinvention is a suspenseful Gatsbian tale of a famous New York lawyer whose charmed and glamorous life is a sham.
Top Manhattan criminal defense attorney Sam Tahar seems to have it all: fame, fortune, an enviable marriage to a prominent socialite, and two wonderful children. But his success is built on a lie - he isn't the person he pretends to be.
Growing up a poor Tunisian immigrant, crammed inside the walls of a grimy Paris apartment tower, Samir Tahar seemed destined for life as either a drug dealer or a delivery man - until he decided "he was going to cut through the bars of his social jail cell, even if he had to do it with his teeth". At law school in Montpelier, France, he became fast friends with Jewish student Samuel Baron. The two were inseparable until the irresistible Nina, torn between the men, ultimately chose Samuel. Samir fled to America, where he assumed Samuel's identity and background while his former friend remained stuck in a French suburb, a failed, neurotic writer seething at Samir's overseas triumphs.
Decades later, the three meet again in this dark, powerful story of a deeply tangled love triangle that becomes subsumed by the war on terror. Called "a masterful novel...unquestionably one of the season's best" (Paris Match) and "a work of great magnitude" (Le Figaro), The Age of Reinvention is an intriguing tale about the wonderful possibilities and terrible costs of remaking oneself.
©2015 Editions Grasset & Fasquelle (P)2015 Simon & Schuster
This could have been an interesting book. Poor French Muslim steals identity (and girl) of his best friend in college, marries filthy rich Jewish American socialite, pretends to be Sephardic Jew, sleeps with a lot of people, identity comes out. Stuff happens.
However, all - yes ALL - of the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes. All the women are beautiful and allegedly brilliant, but since all of them are passive vessels for male sexual dominance and have no opinions to utter (sometimes this is painted as some mysterious passiveness, but mostly they're empty and decorative containers), they are boring. The men are thugs - whiny intellectual thugs, slick and gorgeous well-dressed rich lying thugs, or violent, gangsta-rapping actual thugs. None of them has a lick of personality.
I stuck it out for 2/3 of the book hoping something interesting would happen, but these people are both completely repellent AND dull. Who cares what happens to them?
Great turns of phrase
No character is without flaws or virtues here.
The reader seems to really understand the authors intent.
Reversals and re-reversals of fortune-Charles Dickens meets F. Scott Fitzgerald
Half way through stopped in disgust. Why spend my free time on a book that dwells on sick deviated people with no morals. With enough of this type of thing in the news, I will go back to more uplifting and fun reading and give me something positive to think about.
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