ISBN : 9781623093983 | 350 pages | $9.99 | 2012 | Guy Verville
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. Rémi thus wanders in the saunas and on the Net, with the hope of finding 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 sheets of the bed that has 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, does not have the tactile intelligence to blindly continue the analysis. He lies down, sniffs. This is Victor; he always sleeps on the same side of the bed and recognizes his smell; and this is the other one. 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 really sick of it.
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)