7 January 2008

Paul Smaïl, Smile, 1997

Life as see through the eyes of a Parisian of Moroccan origin, though somehow filtered through Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. This was a big hit when first published in France, its heavily autobiographical content showing Smaïl continually trying to escape the perceived stereotype of the crooked North African immigrant. His string of McJobs takes him from being a nightwatchman in a Paris whorehouse to pizza delivery boy to a thoroughly patronised bookstore clerk, writing Smile as he goes, knowingly amateur but likeable all the way. Recommended.   PY

No comments: