ZAZIE IN THE METRO
Translated from the French by Barbara Wright
Ms. Hen read this book because she had seen the movie, and thought it was cute and zany, and wondered how the book would compare. She learned that the book was considered not able to be made into a movie, and she read the book was classified as a New Wave book, even thought it was written in 1959, before the French New Wave started.
Ms. Hen really enjoyed the movie. She thought it was similar to AMELIE, only about a little girl who wants to ride the Metro in Paris and can’t because there’s a Metro strike. She goes to visit her Uncle Gabriel, who is a cross-dressing dancer in a night club, while her mother has a love affair for the weekend. The movie is fast-paced, and the actress who plays Zazie is awkward in a charming way.
Ms. Hen didn’t like the book as much as the movie. This rarely happens with her.
The book is written is a strange way, and a very pretentious way, Ms. Hen thought. Misspelled words riddle the book! On every page, there is something similar to “Snot,” for is not, and “eggsagerated,” for exaggerated, and so on and on. Ms. Hen had to stop to try to figure out what each word was, and it slowed down her reading.
This is a very short book, but it took longer to read then Ms. Hen thought it would because it was dense with these incorrectly spelled words.
Also, there were no inner lives of the characters. Reading ZAZIE IN THE METRO is like reading a screenplay. When Ms. Hen, and most people she believes, read a novel, they want to know what in going on inside the characters’ heads. That’s the beautiful aspect of a novel, the ability to know what at least one person is thinking. There was nothing to about the inner workings of Zazie and her compatriots, and that annoyed Ms. Hen. She thinks that some readers might enjoy this, but Ms. Hen is curious hen, and she wants to know the people in the book intimately.
There are a few chickens in this novel, but that didn’t make up for how much Ms. Hen didn’t enjoy reading it. It takes more than chickens or hens for Ms. Hen to like a book.
Ms. Hen does not recommend this novel. She would suggest the movie instead, which never happens, she knows! But rare things do happen, like leprechauns, and mermaids, and the Metro in Paris getting shut down.