Neither a short story nor a novel. The size of the book in pages (as I read in Kindle format where I cannot the physically feel the book) does not qualify for the criteria of a novel. The style and theme of the writing is like that of a short story. As a result, what you get is a very short novel which touches you like a short story. The English translation of Dominique Fabre's novel tells the last few days in the professional life of Pierre, a bartender working in a nondescript bar somewhere on the banks of Seine.
They say your entire life flashes before you die. Pierre is not dying. But the career is ending. At advanced age, Pierre is ready to retire. When his employer decides to take off on a whim without informing anyone and leaving Pierre to take care of everything, the latter revisits his life through reveries. So you have Pierre doing daily chores, giving confidence to his colleagues and consoling the employer's wife while his life flashes by him.
Having lived in Paris, I have no respect lost for the waiters and the bartenders. But Pierre's life through Fabre's narration evoke pathos for this creed. I wouldn't call it heavy on emotions. The writing is fluid. The novel is short. So this provides a welcome diversion from the heavies or the superficial stuff you read.
Tags: Books,Dominique Fabre