It is hard to review this book because there are two parallel trains of thought going on – the mental and the physical. In the case of the later not a great deal happens with each entry and life revolves around the library where Antoine is writing his book and the various cafes he frequents.
That is my explanation for why the bullet points might seem rather limited as compared to a traditional novel.
Bullet points from pages 60 – 140
* After a conversation with the Autodidact about adventures Antoine starts analysing if he has ever had adventures and comes to the conclusion he was too busy living life to try and construct an adventure
* But he obviously regrets it and there is a scene where he becomes convinced that literally round the next corner an adventure is waiting but he seems some how to find it difficult to go on and meet it
* He receives a letter from a former girlfriend, Abby, and after some deliberation he resolves to go and see her in Paris
* He goes to a cafe and convinces himself the owner has died and then flees to the safety of the library
* His introverted state starts to consume him more and more and he goes into cafes and hears conversations but can barely bring himself to look at people
* He concludes that he has finished his book on the Marquis de Rollebon and asks himself what he will do next?
* There is just a week to go before he goes to meet Abby and maybe that is the adventure he seeks. He wants to get her to come back to his hotel in Bouville because if she does he won’t be frightened anymore
A guide to his mental outlook is often the time, he hates three o’clock because it is a dead time, the weather and you get fog, rain and cold as well as light and dark, particularly the darkness on the streets not covered by lights.
Unlike most novels, where you have an idea of where things are going, this seems to be a question of not will he have a happy ending or some sort of resolution with Abby but will he fall apart, or be identified as insane before he reaches some point of safety? Even now with just slightly more than 100 pages to read I have no idea of the answer to those questions.
Favourite line from today’s reading is given when Antoine is cornered into accepting a dinner invitation with the Autodidact from the library:
I had as much desire to lunch with him as to hang myself
More of that kind of sentiment no doubt tomorrow…