Review: Exposed by Jean-Philippe Blondel

Jean-Philippe Blondel

on Tour
May 15-28
with
Exposed
Exposed

(fiction)
Release date: June 4, 2019
at New Vessel Press
157 pages
ISBN: 978-1939931672
Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

A French teacher on the verge of retirement is invited to a glittering opening that showcases the artwork of his former student, who has since become a celebrated painter. This unexpected encounter leads to the older man posing for his portrait. Possibly in the nude. Such personal exposure at close range entails a strange and troubling pact between artist and sitter that prompts both to reevaluate their lives.
Blondel, author of the hugely popular novel The 6:41 to Paris, evokes an intimacy of dangerous intensity in a tale marked by profound nostalgia and a reckoning with the past that allows its two characters to move ahead into the future. [provided by the publisher]
NB: this is NOT erotica!
Exposed deals with the joys and uncertainties of youth, as well as aging and regret, thwarted friendships and loves, and nostalgia and searching for renewal. It’s beautifully written and sensitively translated from French, highly engaging and accessible to a wide array of readers. It contains no explicit sex or anything that would put off a reader open to the experience of good literature.”

MY REVIEW

This book was a bit of a tough read for me. I found it hard to get into, and then hard to stay engaged. I usually quite like this author’s books, but somehow, the characters just didn’t do anything for me, didn’t liven my imagination. It could be that it was just too much interior development, too much “navel gazing” for my taste. Certainly I can relate to middle to late-aged white men having some sort of existential crisis, but this time, it was difficult at best.

As the synopsis points out, this isn’t erotica. Though I don’t know why someone would think it is, aside from the mention of a character posing for a portrait in the nude. (the “NB” seems a bit prissy, IMO, a bit too judgmental about erotica. In fact, this book may have done better to have some proper erotica in it. There is definitely homoeroticism in it though, between the teacher and the artist.)

I’ll likely read other books by M. Blondel, but this one definitely won’t get a re-read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

portrait de Jean-philippe Blondel
Jean-Philippe Blondel
was born in 1964 in Troyes, France
where he lives as an author and English teacher.
His novel The 6:41 to Paris has been acclaimed
in both the United States and Europe.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Alison Anderson is a novelist and translator of literature from French. Among the authors she has translated are JMG Le Clézio, Christian Bobin, Muriel Barbery and Amélie Nothomb. She has lived in Northern California and currently lives in a village in Switzerland.
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GIVEAWAY

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Global giveaway open to all US residents
5 winners

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