Red Wheelbarrow Book Reviews

Renee Abigail Penelope Harold Meg

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from Renée's Reviews




by Hazel Rowley
Random House UK Hardcover
Special RWB price 25€


I finished it last night and looked up the reviews on the net of which there is not one. All talk about the wretched couple: Simone and Sartre, no one really talks about the author. I think she did a brilliant job of putting all this rather sordid detail in beautiful order, making it wonderfully readable and enjoyable as "a good read" in spite of the truly repulsive nature of both subjects. One can't help but wonder why THEY were as successful as they obviously were. It is the story of the marketing of two people by themselves to exploit their relationship to be admired and made famous. That was their talent. Since Hazel stays with the tête-à-tête and the bed-and-bed and means not to do a literary or intellectual biography, she necessarily deals with a most unappetizing affair in all its dreary and often sordid detail. I am full of admiration of the work, of the enormous task of research which she so lightly and smoothly and effortlessly, seemingly, presents. She more than achieved her object. Chapeau.

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