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Mother-Son Relationship: Darling, let's get impoverished in Paris!


Patrick DeWitt's adventurous novel "Last Salvation: Paris" makes fun of the money worries of rich people - and maintains an elegant quirky reminiscence of Wes Anderson's films.

In the competition for the strangest confession of love in the book of the fall, this book is already far ahead: "He was a pile of American waste, and she feared that she would love him forever," says Canadian writer Patrick DeWitt on the feelings of one of his heroines.

Her name is Susan and, to her astonishment, she has fallen in love with a slightly fat, hypersensitive lunatic named Malcolm. "His sunglasses were crooked, steam rising from his wet shoulders," she notes, but she finds him irresistible - and hates the mother of her pet "in a pure, all-encompassing way."

The novel "Last Salvation: Paris", which is always too drastic, plays in New York, on a cruise ship and in the capital of France. It's about a wonderfully quirky and terrifying mother-son relationship. Malcolm, 32, lives in Manhattan with his 65-year-old mother, Francis, and does not let his occasional lover Susan stop him from having a half-symbiotic, half-pathological conspiracy with Mom.

A sense of quirkiness that you would expect in rural England at home

When they run out of money after years of eccentric non-life, mother and son decide to leave New York for good. As they say goodbye to the cruise ship terminal, impoverished non-millionaire Francis wears $ 170,000 in cash in her purse and feels a "piercing pain in her heart." This pretty much describes the happiness that you can feel when reading this equally funny and ravishingly sad novel.

Danny Palmerlee

Patrick deWitt: outstanding eccentric talent

The Canadian writer Patrick DeWitt was born in 1975 and is an outstanding eccentric talent. He became known a few years ago with the grotesquely bloody Western parody "The Sisters Brothers", whose filming by the Frenchman Jacques Audiard in the spring also in German cinemas ran.

DeWitt's new work "Last Salvation: Paris" plays in a completely different genre. It tells, with a sense of quirkiness, which one actually calls home in rural England, of a mother and her son, who in the most beautiful obscurity pursue their nipples and little pleasures. These include a cool served martini at the right time of the day as well as the use of French vocabulary against foreign language unfortunately uneducated American fellow human beings.

Frances is a New York celebrity because she once made scandalous headlines. When her millionaire husband collapsed with a heart attack, she simply left the deceased in the New York apartment for a weekend - she did not want to miss a ski trip to the Rocky Mountains. The deceased, it says in the book, had it, "if you were honest, not earned otherwise".

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Patrick de Witt
Last Rescue: Paris: Roman

Publishing company:

KiWi Paperback




EUR 15,00

Translated by:

Andreas Reimann

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Death plays a naturally macabre starring role in "Last Salvation: Paris". The novel is a homage to writer Jane Bowles and her masterpiece "Two Very Serious Ladies"; at the same time, he cultivates a magical surrealism that is strongly reminiscent of the films of the die-hard art cinema director Wes Anderson.

The most important companion Francis and her son Malcolm take with them is a cat named "Little Frank." Supposedly, the spirit of Francis's dead husband is in the animal, which at times can speak. Of course, the dialogues and crazy adventures that accompany deWitt's heroes are sometimes just splendid nonsense. In Paris, he lets Francis consistently follow the motto once issued by Coco Chanel: "Money is something sinful and must be squandered."

Some critics denied the novel, which was a surprise hit in the US, a lack of profundity. In fact, DeWitt's book is not merely a tribute to Paris and a ludicrously pranked joke. In its best moments, Last Rescue: Paris enchantingly illuminates the fleeting beauty of the chic, the behavior, and the surfaces.

Source: spiegel

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