If you imagine something like War & Peace but with all of the characters talking all at once you get a flavour of what Sartre seems to have aimed at trying to do. You get several pages where the story starts to focus on one character and develops then almost like channel hopping the story skips rapidly across several locations.
Although it remains a real task to concentrate and there is always a temptation to try to filter out who you think you have to invest in emotionally on the character front and although that is starting to come a bit clearer Sartre keeps throwing more people into the mix.
Bullet points between pages 110 – 180
* Daniel is fighting with himself to suppress his homosexuality but you get the sense it might well be a battle he loses because the marriage to Marcelle doesn’t seem to be doing him any good
* Several characters start their transit as a result of the call-up with Hannequin leaving his wife at the station after boarding a train; Maurice who spends a final night with his partner Zezette; and Pierre who is travelling back from Africa to Marseille infatuated with a singer come prostitute
* Philippe a young man under the influence of a pacifist runs away from home and pays to get false documents that will allow him to escape to Switzerland and before he goes he gets a bitter taste of the true feelings of the workers he has idealised
* Gros-Louis searches for friendship in Marseille and ends up being mugged for his trouble then when he manages to talk to someone about work he is told that he has to go an report for duty otherwise will be classed as a deserter
Meanwhile there has not been much about Mathieu or some of the other mainstays from The Age of Reason and with all of these numerous storylines running alongside each other it will be interesting to see how they develop with some – Philippe and Maurice – actually crossing over and meeting each other.