Read Les Catilinaires by Amélie Nothomb Online

les-catilinaires

Juliette ed Émile hanno finalmente acquistato la casa dei loro sogni: spaziosa, coperta di glicine, isolata. Ma non abbastanza, tenuto conto delle quotidiane, irritanti e indesiderate visite dell'unico ingombrante vicino, che riesce a trasformare in assillante tortura la pacifica esistenza della coppia. E il paradiso si popola di incubi con l'apparizione dell'ancora più grJuliette ed Émile hanno finalmente acquistato la casa dei loro sogni: spaziosa, coperta di glicine, isolata. Ma non abbastanza, tenuto conto delle quotidiane, irritanti e indesiderate visite dell'unico ingombrante vicino, che riesce a trasformare in assillante tortura la pacifica esistenza della coppia. E il paradiso si popola di incubi con l'apparizione dell'ancora più grassa consorte dell'uomo. Inatteso finale dalle sfumature noir....

Title : Les Catilinaires
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782253141709
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Les Catilinaires Reviews

  • Alexandra
    2018-12-09 14:24

    Im Rahmen meiner Autorinnenchallenge komme ich jetzt öfters in eine Enscheidungskrise und diesmal stellte sich beim Buchstaben N die Frage: Nothomb oder Niffenegger? Da mein Lesefreund Semion wahrscheinlich die Zwillinge von Highgate lesen wird, habe ich mich für die mir bisher noch nicht bekannte Autorin Nothomb entschieden, und ich bin positiv überrascht. Dies wird sicher nicht das letzte Buch bleiben, das ich von dieser Schriftstellerin lese.Die Geschichte ist relativ simpel mit sehr wenigen Protagonisten strukturiert. Das pensionierte Ehepaar Hazel - Emile und Juliette - er war Lehrer für alte Sprachen - erfüllt sich endlich den Lebenstraum vom einsamen und einfachen Landleben. Abseits einer kleinen Ortschaft stehen zwei Häuser, die Zivilisation in Form eines Bauernladens ist leicht erreichbar, der noch unbekannte Nachbar ist praktischerweise auch gleich Arzt. Wie passend!Der bereits in den Plot eingeführte Nachbar, Monsieur Palamede Bernadin, übt sich ab dem ersten Tag wie Sun-Tse in der Kunst des Psychokrieges. Jeden Tag kommt dieser Quälgeist um 4:00 Uhr Nachmittags vorbei, bleibt bis Punkt 6:00 Uhr, schweigt mürrisch und antwortet einsilbig wenn er was gefragt wird, bleibt aber hartnäckig im Wohnzimmer sitzen. Der gesamte Besuch ist eine einzige Qual und vergällt dem Ehepaar ihren Traum vom friedvollen Leben in der Idylle. Das Ehepaar Hazel hat auf Grund ihrer Erziehung zur Höflichkeit am Anfang wenig Instrumente, sich gegen das schlechte Benehmen des Invasoren in die häusliche Gemütlichkeit zu wehren. Aber nach und nach, gemäß der Kunst des Krieges beginnen die Hazels, Strategien als Gegenmaßnahmen zu entwickeln, die Palamede stets mit einer weiteren Eskalation beantwortet. Da hilft es aber auch nichts, einfach nicht zu öffnen, Monsigneur Bernadin poltert so laut an die Türe, dass er sie beinahe einschlägt, wenn Juliette Hazel krank ist, entblödet sich dieser übergriffige, unhöfliche Mensch doch tatsächlich nicht, im Schlafzimmer der Kranken aufzutauchen und sich hinzufläzen. Die nächste Finte der Hazels ist, die Frau von Palamede miteinzuladen um etwas Schwung in die Konversation und die nachbarlichen Beziehungen zu bringen. Dieser Abend gerät zum absoluten Desaster:"Eine Zyste, dieses Ding war eine Zyste! Eva war aus der Rippe Adams gemacht worden, und Madame Bernadin war sicherlich als Zyste im Bauch unseres Quälgeists herangewachsen. [...] Bernadette besaß keine Nase; zwei undeutlich erkennbare Löcher schienen der Atmung zu dienen. Zwei schmale Schlitze oberhalb davon öffneten sich vor den Augäppfeln, doch konnte man nicht mit Sicherheit sagen, ob diese Augen etwas sahen. Am meisten zu denken gab der Mund: man hätte meinen können, der eines Kraken. Ich fragte mich, ob diese Öffnung wohl Laute hervorbringen konnte."Zug um Zug steigert sich dieser Kleinkrieg und nach einem Eklat, begeht Palamede Bernadin einen Selbstmordversuch., der von Emile Hazel vereitelt wird. Nun wird das Ehepaar noch weiter in den Strudel der Angelegenheiten der Nachbarn hineingezogen, denn die offensichtlich behinderte Nachbarin Bernadette benötigt Hilfe, solange ihr Mann im Krankenhaus weilt und irgendwie fühlt sich Emile immer mehr verantwortlich. So geht die Story mit 2 Schauplätzen 4 Personen mit viel Action weiter, ein Psychokrieg der kleinen Nadelstiche. Kennt Ihr den Film "Das Duell"von Stephen Spielberg genauso ist die Stimmung und der Plot - sehr minimalistisch inszeniert - aber es tut sich wahnsinnig viel von der tiefenpsychologischen Seite her. Das Ende des Romans ist sowohl total moralisch verwerflich als auch atemberaubend, da ich zugeben muss, meine moralischen Skrupel ein bisschen über Bord geworfen zu haben und die schändliche Tat beginne, ein klein wenig zu rechtfertigen - beziehungsweise kann ich sie ein bisschen nachvollziehen. Fazit: Für Fans der vielen Personen, des Gewusels und der Action in Romanen vielleicht ein bisschen zu minimalistisch, für mich aber absolut lesenswert und psychologisch köstlich! Definitv nicht die letzte Nothomb - Tipps von Euch diesbezüglich sind mir herzlich willkommen.

  • Genevieve
    2018-12-07 18:23

    In The Stranger Next Door by Amélie Nothomb, childhood sweethearts, Emile and Juliette Hazel, married for 43 years, decide to abandon city life for an idyllic retirement in the country. They have a burning need for solitude, to become true free spirits liberated from "what men have made of life." And so, in true fairy tale fashion, they buy a cottage in the woods, a house covered in blue wisteria set near a river, and get ready to begin their golden years in peace and tranquility.But then comes a knock at the door. Soon their Garden-of-Eden getaway is interrupted by a visit from their neighbor, Palamedes Bernardin. At first, Emile and Juliette are delighted. Mr. Bernardin is a retired cardiologist (how convenient to have a doctor living so close!). Better yet, he isn't a nosy chatterbox, as they feared. But the man's behavior quickly takes a turn: first just odd and then boorishly weird. The Hazels are baffled though still amused after this first fairly innocuous visit. He stays exactly two hours and leaves without ceremony. Emile and Juliette laugh it off—easy cruelties: their neighbor is large and portly, and has the personality of a sack of boulders. But as Mr. Bernardin visits the next day, and the day after that, in succession, when it looks like the visits will never cease, a low-grade paranoia and anxiety begins to settle on them.By the middle act, we meet Mr. Bernardin's wife, Bernadette. In an effort to fill the void of a conversation, Emile blurts out an absurd dinner invitation. He is morbidly curious. He wants to know who would marry such a man. When they meet Bernadette, Emile and Juliette are shocked. Nothomb's descriptions of Bernadette are grotesque: "a protuberance," a "cyst" who shakes hands with a "tentacle," has a mouth "like that of an octopus" and speaks in indecipherable grunts. She repulses the couple but also elicits their pity and sympathy. Juliette eventually makes it a personal crusade to 'save' Bernadette from what she sees as Mr. Bernardin's cruelties and oppressions.The book darkens in tone with every turn of the page, like a stain that deepens on white carpet. The Hazels' sense of social obligation prevents them from saying what they mean. Soon their need to understand their neighbor, to understand why he acts the way he does, to ascribe some logical motive to his actions—gets turned inward. The inscrutable Mr. Bernardin becomes a psychological foil to Emile's own buried anxieties and fears. In fact, it reminded me of a psychiatrist and patient relationship, albeit inverted and corrupted. Emile is enraged by the intrusions, which evolve slowly in the book from being a nuisance to daily tortures. He can't sleep at night. He starts to babble and drone, just to fill the silences. He becomes so obsessed with the visits he is helpless to prevent them. "I hadn't realized that I was a coward," Emile muses. With wicked glee, Nothomb inserts small pinpricks into her characters. Nothing you can see or feel at first, but eventually it does serious damage. The Stranger Next Door is a dark, absurdist comedy with existential edges that only novelists writing in French seem capable of pulling off. It is also a novel about change and transformation: in this case, Emile's mental descent (or ascent, if you're really cynical...). Nothomb captures this idea well when Emile starts musing about good and evil as different states of matter:"Good is far less convincing than evil, but it's because their chemical structures are different. Like gold, good is never found in a pure state in nature: it therefore doesn't seem impressive. It has the unfortunate tendency not to act; it prefers, passively, to be seen. Evil on the other hand, is like a gas: it's not easy to see but it can be detected by its odor. It's most often stagnant, disbursed in a suffocating sheet; initially this aspect seems inoffensive, but then suddenly you see it at work and you realize the ground it has won, the tasks it has accomplished. And by then it's all over; gas cannot be expelled."How are gases different from other states of matter? Well, gases expand; they are elastic and can be compressed; and they have weight. The Stranger Next Door is one part laughing gas, two parts gas chamber. It's a novel about a man's downward spiral to self-destruction. One criticism I have, though, is that you can guess the ending of the book fairly easily, but I suppose mystery isn't the point. (view spoiler)[By the end of the book, Emile's moral center is completely destroyed. In a kind of pathological reversal, Emile is driven to murder, a murder that he sees as an act of mercy. (hide spoiler)] Before that fateful visit, Emile thought his life was perfect. Then this impenetrable, impassive presence makes him reflect and think otherwise. It becomes a kind of violation from which he never recovers. These are just one of the many dark 'truths' that Nothcomb explores in this short but explosive book.

  • Readings
    2018-12-08 15:14

    Émile y Juliette forman un matrimonio de jubilados que, tras largos años de vida en común, logran retirarse a la casa de sus sueños. El paisaje es idílico, las expectativas de paz infinitas. Cuando parece que todas las circunstancias son favorables para disfrutar de la jubilación en las mejores condiciones, aparece un vecino siniestro que, cada tarde, les visita a la hora de la merienda. El efecto que la invasión metódica de este intruso provoca en la apacible existencia del matrimonio se convierte en el núcleo de una fábula no exenta de humor negro.Las Catilinarias es el quinto libro que leo de Amélie Nothomb y tengo que deciros que es el que más he disfrutado hasta el momento. La autora destaca en las novelas autobiográficas, que me gustan mucho, pero en este caso, con una obra de ficción, me ha convencido más que de costumbre. Después de leer este libro puedo decir que esta autora es una de mis autoras favoritas. Es una de las primeras novelas que ha escrito la autora y para mi tiene mayor calidad que otras más recientes. Creo que en un autor/a tiene que primar la calidad a la cantidad, y no sé cómo serán las últimas publicaciones de la autora, aún no las he leído, pero dudo que estén al nivel de esta novela.Imaginaos que os jubiláis, encontráis un hogar en un lugar tranquilo, el hogar de tus sueños. Pero hay un inconveniente, tu vecino es un pelma, día tras día acude a tu casa y se sienta en tu sofá. De ahí no hay quien lo mueva y por si fuera poco, parece que todo le incomoda y casi no habla. ¿Qué haríais?. A esto se enfrentan nuestros protagonistas día tras día, a un vecino muy maleducado y antipático. Y esta situación hace reflexionar al lector, ¿a veces pecamos de demasiado educados?. ¿Por qué tendríamos que soportar esta situación día tras día? ¿Por qué no nos atrevemos a salirnos de nuestras buenas formas?Amélie Nothomb expone un problema normal, (¿nunca habéis tenido una visita que os ha incomodado?) y lo lleva al extremo. Porque si, Nothomb es una autora muy extremista. La situación se convierte en una verdadera locura con momentos surrealistas y cargada de humor negro. Como siempre, el punto fuerte son los protagonistas, unos protagonistas muy extraños, dispares que te fascinan en todo momento. Porque esa es otra de las cualidades de Nothomb, consigue que te encariñes con personajes con los que en un primer momento crees que no empatizas.Una novela breve y muy sencilla pero que está llena de la esencia de esta autora tan peculiar. No es una autora para todo el mundo, pero si le das una oportunidad seguro que no te deja indiferente.

  • Emmett
    2018-12-10 14:23

    This is the 8th novel of Nothomb's I've read. While I always enjoy her works, some are obviously more entertaining/impressive to me than others. That being said, I LOVED this one. I've typically enjoyed her semi-autobiographical works more than just her stories, but this was definitely an exception. The story was amazing. It was short (like everything I've read by her) with very little background, consisting mainly of dialogue between a husband and wife, but I couldn't wait to finish it. Her descriptions, as always, range from profound to comical in this simple story. The basic premise is that we can never really know ourselves, and for anyone like me that's ever ruminated on the subject, it definitely rings true. It only consists of 4 main characters, but each of them comes to life through her writing, all of them completely engrossing in their own way. The only way I could've liked this book more is if it was slightly longer, as I enjoyed it so much and read through the entirety of it so quickly. I can't wait to get my hands on more of her writing!

  • Tessa
    2018-12-07 17:23

    More than anything this book is about pleasure. What makes us happy and what gives us pleasure? Are the 2 the same? Or can we have one without the other?Emile and Juliette found the perfect home for their retirement. Everything seems to go perfect until their sanctum is bothered by their neighbour, Bernardin. Incredibly fat and rude, he tortures them 2 hours each day by coming to their house and sitting them without saying anything. Just looking uncomfortable and making the old couple feel the same way.The rules of politeness and social conduct make it hard for them to get rid of him, but when they finally do his horrible presence still lingers in the air next door.Bernardin is a person who finds pleasure in nothing: it makes it his thing to be as miserable as ever and wants everyone around him to be the same way. Will they manage to escape his curse?A very ingenious way of showing misery as a skillful weapon against other's happiness. It was a thrilling read :D .

  • Tassia
    2018-11-23 14:30

    Un libro dall'incredibile capacità di analisi psicologica. Dapprima non ce ne si rende conto, i personaggi sembrano caricature - forse in fondo la coppia Bernardin lo rimane fino alla fine (Bernadette mi ricorda incredibilmente la versione finale della Strega delle lande nel Castello errante di Howl) - eppure possiamo parlare di una vera e propria epifania, c'è un momento in cui tutto, perfino lo straordinario, ritorna sotto il controllo dell'ordinario e si riesce ad aggiustare la prospettiva con cui guardiamo e giudichiamo gli eventi. Sempre se di giudizio possiamo parlare. Arrivati all'ultimo carattere stampato dell'ultima pagina, si viene colti da un senso di presenza onirica. Quello che abbiamo letto diviene un sogno, comparso e scomparso in un attimo, è successo davvero?Leggero sia fisicamente che emotivamente mentre lo si legge, pesa come un macigno una volta terminato.

  • Temz
    2018-11-27 12:36

    Нотомб отново си играе с простотата на думите, оголва ги и ги поставя в такава редица, че от значение да останат само усещанията – погнусата, желанието да побегнеш, играта на нерви със случващото се.Лудa, шокиращa, междувременно невероятно забавна – прозата на Амели ще ви докаже, че дори малките битови неща могат да извадят наяве дяволите у нас...http://knijno.blogspot.bg/2018/01/blo...

  • Sonya Serial Reader
    2018-12-06 10:17

    C'est plutôt 3.5/5Je dirais que c'est jusqu'à présent mon Nothomb préféré. L'histoire est très simple, un couple à la retraite déménageant dans un coin retiré pour finir leurs années dans une solitude à deux, sauf que cette thébaïde comportait un voisin imprévu et non moins étrange. Palamède Bernadin a pris l'habitude de venir s'imposer chez eux de 16h à 18h, et ce, tous les jours, et presque sans dire un mot. Les tentatives de le rebiffer ou de le dissuader étant toutes vouées à l'échec, ces visites absurdes deviennent une source d'angoisse énorme pour le couple qui voient leurs jours se transformer en une "attente" stressante de la fatalité.L'écriture est fluide et simple aussi, le livre étant court, y a pas place à de longues descriptions, néanmoins les personnages sont bien travaillés, on s'y attache facilement. L'humeur y est en abondance, un humour noir, très noir même, mêlé à une lucidité dérangeante, des réflexions presque philosophiques sur la vie sans plaisir (le voisin étant un parfait nihiliste), le suicide, l'handicap (la femme du voisin étant une masse tellement grosse et amorphe que le narrateur l'appelle "le kyste")...On découvre peu à peu les "motivations" de cet intrus, des aspect de sa "vie", son épouse "spéciale" et si la fin s'avère prévisible on ne peut s'empêcher de méditer là-dessus.Un petit joyau littéraire qui ne vous laissera pas indifférent.

  • Vincenzo
    2018-12-11 13:12

    Un romanzo che mette al centro l'uomo, in continuo mutamento con l'ambiente e con le persone di cui si circonda. Amèlie Nothomb con l'opera "Le Catilinarie" tenta di dare un'impronta mediana al lettore che viene sedotto dai dialoghi strutturalmente perfetti, lirici sotto certi aspetti. Una scrittura avvincente, che affascina e coinvolge il lettore, pronto a emergersi negli ambienti in cui vivono Emèlie e Juliette, personaggi alle prese con la metafora del nulla vivente; di questo nulla che appartiene a Palamèdele Bernadin. Ne risulta un romanzo ricco di dialoghi e di avvenimenti affrontati da Emèlie, ormai completamente trasformata a contatto con la grassezza di Palamèdele. Uno dei migliori romanzi della scrittrice, a mio parere.

  • Kaloyana
    2018-11-25 14:28

    Това вече е една от най-любимите ми книги на Амели Нотомб!!! Просто грандиозна.

  • Canem
    2018-11-21 14:26

    "Wenn man bedachte, dass die Sinne die Pforten der Intelligenz, der Seele und des Herzens sind, was blieb ihm dann noch? [...] Und der Mangel ist ein ebenso guter, wenn nicht besserer Lehrmeister als die Fülle. Palamède aber litt unter keinem Mangel, denn es mangelt einem an nichts, wenn man nichts liebt."Bei Amélie Nothomb habe ich immer das Gefühl, dass die Geschichte der Protagonisten eigentlich nur dazu dient, ihr den Raum für ihre wunderbar brillianten philosophischen Gedanken zu geben. Die Besonderheit an diesem Buch ist, dass Nothomb aus der Sicht eines männlichen Protagonisten schreibt, was ich sehr ungewöhnlich fand. Auch habe ich bei "Der Professor" mehr lachen müssen, als bei ihren anderen Büchern.Die Protagonisten schwanken wie immer zwischen liebenswert sympathisch und grotesk skurril und ekelerregend, fast wie Karrikaturen. Die Autorin versteht es romantisch und mit sehr viel Witz zu schreiben.Für jemanden, der noch nie ein Buch von Nothomb gelesen hat, würde ich dieses Buch trotzdem nicht empfehlen, eher für "Fans" ihrer anderen Bücher.

  • Maria
    2018-11-24 13:17

    午后四点,厚脸皮讨厌的邻居,哈哈哈哈,你也遇到过这种奇葩吧

  • William He
    2018-11-19 18:18

    Finished this short novella in a week and I couldn't help laughing at Nothomb's brilliant descriptions of repulsive characters. The story revolves around two retired couple who move to the country side after finding the house of their dreams. Mr. Hazel, a retired high school teacher, and his wife moved away from the city to enjoy some peace and quiet in the winter. Everything was going swell until their dear neighbor comes in for a visit, then another visit, and then one every day. When push comes to shove, the overly polite Mr. Hazel is forced to confront with the monotone neighbor as well as his inner cowardice. It's a quick read, but excitingly well-written. Love it!

  • Carol Rennie
    2018-11-17 11:21

    This story was very captivating and flowed well. I read this in a few days, but could have read it in one day.So Emile and Juliette buy a home about an hour out of town. They have a neighbour, a doctor, who comes to their house,without invitation, everyday from 4pm to 6pm without fail. Everyday Emile keeps letting him in, even though Juliette asks why? Emile cannot not answer the door.....the story continues.........This is a great book when you want to read something easy, nothing greatly deep and very entertaining.

  • Kirk Johnson
    2018-11-14 15:32

    If Beckett copulated with Camus and gave birth to an easy moment, this might be the lovechild in their arms. The initial structure of the novel - similar to her first novel, Hygiene and the Assassin - is noticed immediately and one cannot fathom how the author will pull it off, but unlike that earlier novel she renders the whole story with aplomb. And while the writer's hand hovers over her usual finishing technique of the unexpected small noise maker, in the end she slides into her ending more easily and organically and with more finesse.

  • Cora D
    2018-12-13 16:19

    Sin querer el azar ha puesto en mis manos uno de los mejores libros que pudiese esperar y desear.Me encantan los problemas morales hechos novela, pero esta novela corta en particualar lleva al lector desde su visión externa, hasta hacerle cómplice de las cavilaciones pasionales de Emile.Recomendado si se busca delimitar lo correcto e incorrecto de las acciones personales en un marco social.

  • Myriam
    2018-11-16 13:33

    quand on lit plusieurs livres de suit d'Amélie, les histoires perdent un peu de leur charme et on commence à trouver les points de similarités et des répétitions dans ses écrits: la laideur et la beauté, le froid, le changement psychologique du protagoniste allant du neutre, bon, vilain et enfin confus. ceci est applicable à tous les romans non autobiographiques de l'écrivaine.

  • AmberBug *shelfnotes.com*
    2018-11-23 12:09

    The central character is a retired philosophy teacher and the book jumps right into the human psyche. I loved every word of this book and want to read everything by Northomb, although I don't know how many of her books have been translated into English from French. Her writing makes me contemplate learning French... that's how much I liked this book.

  • Sophie
    2018-12-06 15:24

    Nothomb writes with so much insight and this story isn't any different. It deals with a couple who retire to the countryside to be on their own. There is only one house anywhere nearby. But when the doctor who lives there starts coming to visit between 4 and 6pm every day, it changes everything. The story is uncomfortable, psychological and excellent. I just didn't like it myself.

  • Roberta
    2018-11-24 11:12

    Amélie Nothomb è un'autrice fantastica e decisamente particolare. I suoi romanzi migliori per quel che mi riguarda sono quelli autobiografici, ma tutti sono meritevoli: solo uno dei tanti che ho letto mi ha proprio lasciato perplessa (Igiene dell'assassino).http://robertabookshelf.blogspot.it/2...

  • Jorge Cienfuegos
    2018-11-17 13:10

    Uno de los primeros libros de Nothomb, con los temas típicos de sus obras de esa época: criaturas grotescas, obesidades monstruosas, misantropía... Personalmente, en su línea de ficción pura, me gustaban mucho más este tipo de novelas que las de los últimos cinco-seis años.

  • Deepa
    2018-12-01 18:11

    What a good book!just picked this one off the shelf without the usual research i put into picking books.Surprise!Great suspense,and 149 pages only.so, busy readers who are fans of creepy,funny and suspenseful novels will enjoy this one!

  • Akhila
    2018-11-18 18:08

    I knew this book was translated from French to English. I don't know much about the author, the book was a gift. It's really interesting and the musings of the main character, was interesting but the plot made me keep going. The plot. It was the plot. Interesting abstract read.

  • Doroti
    2018-12-09 12:08

    Май очаквах нещо много голямо и важно да се случи след всичкото чакане до средата... ама... тц

  • Swanni
    2018-11-17 16:13

    Meh.

  • Josephine
    2018-11-30 18:28

    Amazing. Totally takes the place of 'Loving Sabotage' as my favourite by Nothomb...so far.

  • Jen
    2018-11-24 10:06

    Kind of desturbing, a little aggrivating, bone chilling - for sure - but on the whole I enjoyed it. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes the 'mental suffering' genre.

  • Sandra
    2018-11-26 14:29

    L'ho letto tutto di un fiato. E' un libro che sembrerebbe raccontare una storia di quotidianità, ma poi... Mi ha lasciato perplessa.Mi sa che non l'ho capito.

  • Sherry
    2018-11-19 17:16

    So strange, and so good. A mystery of the human psyche.

  • Yana
    2018-12-02 18:13

    3.5A dark, absurdist comedy about the nature of pleasure, Les Catilinaires explores the existential doubts and mental breakdown of Emile Hazel, a retired Greek and Latin professor. Commencing his retirement by moving into a picturesque cottage with his wonderful wife Juliette, Emile expects to inhabit a state of peaceful idyll for the rest of his life. This plan is quickly disrupted by the couple's neighbor, the obese and boorish M. Palamède Bernardin, who pays them an obligatory and punctual two-hour visit every day between 4 and 6 o'clock PM. His mute dissatisfaction, repulsive corpulence and rude intrusion begin to poison the Hazels' otherwise pleasant daily routine, causing them great anxiety and perturbation. Emile especially becomes obsessed with understanding M. Bernardin's murky psyche, unable to fathom the sheer nihilism and boredom that emanates from Bernardin's every (in)action. Later, Madame Bernadette Bernardin is introduced into the narrative - a morbidly obese, brutish and animalistic woman described as a "cyst" from Palamède's side (in contrast to a rib from Adam's). However, she subsequently appears to be a different sort of creature - crude, visceral, but capable of experiencing joy, pleasure and satisfaction, which makes her much more human than her husband. The Hazels, especially Juliette, become convinced that Bernadette is being oppressed by her husband and begin devising ways to help her...The novel is a fascinating look into Emile's mental and moral degradation, the way Bernardin creeps into his psyche and becomes and all-consuming obsession, even though the man himself is described as pure nothingness (néant). Something about Bernardin strikes an unholy chord within Emile and reveals all his inner anxieties and existential fears. Emile seems to apprehend evil itself in this almost mythological figure who resists interpretation according to his view of life. In the end, the verdict on Bernardin's life seems to be equally a verdict on Emile's life, who goes from knowing and understanding himself and his place in the world to "ne [savoir] plus rien de [lui-même]", a thought which appears at both the end and beginning of the novel. The emptiness in M. Bernardin consumes him and causes him to abandon notions of morality, honesty and integrity. The novel ends eerily: life continues as before, Juliette is delighted with Bernadette, but Emile has no peace after it all. Les Catilinaires is existentialism as only the French can muster. Genuinely funny, peppered with references and written in evocative and fluid prose (the French was wonderful, even though it necessitated frequent visits to the dictionary), the novel is a pleasure to read, although the ending was a tad too dark for me and took away from some the enjoyment, though I do not necessarily think it was a bad stylistic choice. Overall, very interesting and darkly funny novel, but the ending deters me from giving a full 4 stars - it somehow left a bad taste in my mouth, most probably due to my fragile sensitivities. :)