Mood Indigo: A Novel (FSG Classics)
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The basis of the new major movie from Michel Gondry, starring Audrey Tautou, the beloved French modern classic hailed as "the most poignant love story of our time" by Raymond Queneau
The story is simple: Boy meets girl; boy marries girl; girl falls ill on their honeymoon with a water lily on the lung, which can only be treated by being surrounded by flowers; boy goes broke desperately trying to keep his true love alive.
First published in 1947, Mood Indigo perfectly captures the feverishly creative, melancholy romance of mid-century Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Recently voted number ten on Le Monde's list of the 100 Books of the Century (the top ten also included works by Camus, Proust, Kafka, Hemingway, and Steinbeck), Boris Vian's novel has been an icon of French literature for fifty years―the avant-garde, populist masterpiece by one of twentieth-century Paris's most intriguing cultural figures, a touchstone for generations of revolutionary young people, a jazz-fueled, science-fiction-infused, sexy, fantastical, nouveau-decadent tear-jerker that has charmed and beguiled hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. With the help of Michel Gondry and Audrey Tautou, it is set to seduce many, many more.
‘I don’t know how I can say thanks. Anyway, you know perfectly well that I can’t possibly thank you in the way I’d like …’ Colin was beginning to feel slightly better. And Alyssum was really beautiful that evening. ‘What perfume are you wearing?’ he said. ‘Chloe uses one made from essence of double-distilled orchids.’ ‘None at all,’ said Alyssum. ‘It’s natural,’ said Chick. ‘It’s terrific! …’ said Colin. ‘It’s like the breeze in a forest – a forest filled with streams and squirrels and
under their feet and, with a big soft huff and a puff, gently burst its way up to the right floor, carrying them with it. Its door glided open for them. They rang. Then the flat door opened. Chloe was waiting for them. Besides her cellophane bra, her little white pants and her stockings, her body was protected by two layers of muslin, with a very full veil of fine tulle that fell from her shoulders, leaving her head completely free. Alyssum and Isis were dressed in the same way, but their
‘All three of them were a little bit squiffy, so … so I had to put them all to bed. Isis’s bed is very wide – the kind where there is always room for one more. I didn’t want to disturb you, so I slept with them.’ ‘Slept? …’ said Chloe … ‘The bed may have been wide, but it must have been very hard because you don’t look as if you got much rest.’ Nicholas gave a very unnatural little cough and started fiddling with his electrical gadgets. ‘Taste this,’ he said, trying to change the subject. It
across the table. ‘Hell!’ he said. ‘Don’t worry,’ said Nicholas. ‘It’s good for the woodwork.’ Chick managed to help himself at last, and Nicholas carried away the third sausage on a stretcher. ‘I don’t know what’s going wrong,’ said Chick. ‘Did it used to be like this here before?’ ‘No,’ confessed Colin. ‘Everything everywhere is changing, and I can’t do anything to stop it. It’s grown like some kind of leprosy since my doublezoons disappeared …’ ‘Haven’t you got any left at all?’ asked
kind of smoke – we use the shortened title so that people don’t get alarmed about it.’ ‘I’ll give you all my money,’ said Chick. ‘Of course,’ said the commissergeant. Chick went to his desk and opened the drawer. He kept a very powerful heart-snatcher in there, and a rather rusty rozza-eraser. He couldn’t find the heart-snatcher, but he could feel the rozza-eraser under a pile of papers. ‘I hope it’s the money you’re looking for in there,’ said the commissergeant. The two policemen-at-arms