Les années-rebours

Les années-rebours


ISBN : 9781623093983 | 350 pages | $9.99 | | Guy Verville

In French only. Second edition, revised and expanded. This book was first published by Varia (who has ceased his activities). First ISBN of 2004: 2-89606-004-9. I took back my rights and published in ePub format.

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Remi is a bak­er. He lives in the qui­et well-being of love with­out pas­sion. But between com­fort and lazi­ness, the pow­er of his desire per­sists, anchored in him as a quest. Thus, Rémi wan­ders in the saunas and on the Net, hop­ing to find the part of inten­si­ty he lacks. From the urban heat­wave to the slow breath­ing of the riv­er, from Brazil to Ire­land, his jour­ney remains a dream with­out illusion.

Rémi touches the bed sheets that have not been redone, spotting spots here and there, dried puddles from which he recognizes the origin. What is the seed of whom? He touches them but does not have the tactile intelligence to continue the analysis blindly. He lies down, sniffs. This is Victor; he always sleeps on the same side of the bed and recognizes his smell; this is the other. Both smell good and their juices, in this silence, age well on the surface of happiness. Why didn't Victor have the decency to do laundry before he left? That proves he's fed up. Rémi is sick of it.


Bitter sweetness

A very beau­ti­ful and ten­der book from Que­bec. Guy Verville has been crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed there. And it is true that this sto­ry, that of Rémi, who lives soft­ly in an ordi­nary rela­tion­ship, and who will wan­der in the saunas and on the net to spice up his dai­ly life, touch­es you.

It’s a lit­tle bit bit­ter­sweet, but after all, that’s how life is, isn’t it ?

Blue Book Paris (2004/08/01)

An excellent novel

Rémi, a bak­er of his con­di­tion, lives a love that has fall­en into every­day life with Vic­tor. This has not pre­vent­ed him from get­ting stuck with just about all the men around him and he sud­den­ly feels a cer­tain weari­ness invad­ing him.

Does he deserve more than Vic­tor or is he sim­ply not able to rec­og­nize his hap­pi­ness ? Should he resist the advances of Luc, the hus­band of a life­long friend ? What about Stéphane, that ladies’ escort she met in a sauna that unex­pect­ed­ly upset her ? A nov­el with com­plex and tor­ment­ed char­ac­ters, but which nev­er falls into pathos. The author, Guy Verville, also knows how to sprin­kle a dose of humour into his sto­ry (even if he some­times pours a lit­tle into the caboti­nage). Most read­ers will undoubt­ed­ly rec­og­nize them­selves in Rémi’s jour­ney, and we can only wel­come in pass­ing a mas­tery of writ­ing that brings us clos­er to the char­ac­ters and their mean­ders by small touch­es, while pre­serv­ing their share of mys­tery. The whole thing might have deserved a tighter treat­ment, but, all in all, here is an excel­lent nov­el that will touch more than one. An author to fol­low closely !

Benoit Migneault, Fugues (2004/04/21)

Realism and openness

Guy Verville’s most recent nov­el, Les Années-rebours pub­lished by Édi­tions Varia, could eas­i­ly have fall­en into the trap of the cliché since all the pre­con­ceived ideas about gays are present : sauna vis­its, anony­mous sex, erot­ic chats, infi­deli­ty, etc. How­ev­er, the author has such a mas­tery of his art that his way of telling us about the life of Rémi, this man whose mar­ried life hard­ly sur­vives the wear and tear of the days, can only sur­prise us with his real­ism and his frank­ness. Thanks to the Inter­net, the author has con­tributed so much to his text that he has giv­en us a fair­ly accu­rate por­trait of gay life.

La Voix du Village (2004/04/21)


What a nov­el ani­mat­ed by the breath of genius ! Rémi’s sto­ry is like­ly to upset many peo­ple, because Verville, through his tal­ent as a writer, was able to extract the essen­tial human feel­ings and tell us sub­tly through one of these char­ac­ters, as if to get us out of our inse­cu­ri­ties and wor­ries : “Coudonc, wake up ! “So, Rémi has been liv­ing with Vic­tor for many years, but the pas­sion is no longer there. Rémi then seeks to sat­is­fy his unful­filled desires (here we mean emo­tion­al and sex­u­al) through encoun­ters in saunas and chat rooms on the Inter­net. He meets Stéphane who dis­turbs his heart. Then there is Luc, the hus­band of a friend, with whom he had adven­tures. He thinks he loves her. He thinks he still loves Vic­tor too. Do you see the pic­ture ? Remi is around us but also with­in us.

I loved this nov­el because it chal­lenges us and chal­lenges us with this sim­ple ques­tion : why com­pli­cate life with our love sto­ries ? Espe­cial­ly since Vic­tor, on his side, noticed the cou­ple’s fail­ure, but he did­n’t tell Rémi about it. Well, the man who does­n’t speak, unknown to you ? I also loved Luci­enne, this friend­ly and charm­ing woman from the coun­try­side, who does­n’t hes­i­tate to brew Rémi. Like the neigh­bour Irene, capa­ble of unimag­in­able feats despite her ill­ness and who, in her own way, shakes up Remi’s opin­ions and assumptions.

Verville’s text is full of reflec­tions on rela­tion­ships, love and friend­ship. Above all, we must not do with­out this won­der­ful read­ing offered by Verville. Sublime !

Richard Chartier, RG (2004/07/01)