Patrick Modiano – After the Circus

Jean, an 18-year-old boy in 1960’s Paris, is called in to the police because his name popped up in the address book of someone. When he is about to leave the police station, he stumbles acrossa girl whom he then awaits in a nearby café. She, too, has been interrogated and additionally, she is in need of a place to stay for the night. He takes her home, or what is left of his home since his father went away and he is taken care of by one of his father’s friends. The next morning, they walk around Paris, where she has some business to do at different places. This is also where he gets to know two suspicious men for whom they deliver a message. The day after, they both have vanished and again the police contact and warn him of his acquaintances. Can he trust the beautiful girl at his side?
Again Modiano sets his story in the 1960s of the French capital, and  – also again – we have a young woman fleeing from her life, vanishing in the city’s night life, fascinating the men around her. And we have the young man, observant to the life around him, searching for an aim in his own life, strolling around without knowing where to go.

Modiano like no other manages to convey the feeling of a generation which was lost somehow, searching for a reason to live. The way they roam the city, entering one café after another, having brief encounters here and there without lasting effects – perfect symbols of young men and women confused and forlorn.
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