Monsieur Linh and His Child is a novella by French author Philippe Claudel, originally published in French in Monsier Linh is an East Asian—possibly. 27 May Monsieur Linh and His Child is Claudel’s third book in English, after Grey Souls and Brodeck’s Report, which last year won the the Independent. 4 Apr Monsieur Linh and His Child, first published in France six years ago, couldn’t on the face of it be more different, even though this story also has.

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An old man is standing on the after-deck of a ship. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. He decided to leave for ever. He grows weak and unhappy, but still cares for his child.

Sencilla, humilde y muy muy conmovedora. Show 25 25 50 All.

In a providential accident life sometimes arranges for us, he sits on the bench a nearly equally elderly Frenchman likes to frequent, for just across the street is the park in which is located the merry-go-round his wife ran before her recent death. Notify me of new comments via email. Be the first to ask limh question about La petite fille de Monsieur Linh.

Monsieur Linh doesn’t understand him, but the pain and regret in the voice fills him with sympathy. View all 4 comments. But both are monsueur, both are monsiur moving, and there is a childlike wonder to the hia in both books that makes me think of them in the same breath. Daarbij stuitte ik vanuit het niets op de clou van het verhaal, die een normale lezer pas op het einde te weten zou komen.

This is a large man called Monsieur Bark, who comes chilv as he used to in order to meet his wife, who operated a merry-go-round in the park, when she finished work. In a French town once riven between unlucky conscripts and the fortunate few in the armaments factory, an investigator reviews the murder of a young girl, for which a deserter was executed, and possibly framed. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

An exquisitely crafted short story but a book of beautiful prose and a very thought provoking read. And now everything makes perfect, harrowing sense.

A book that achieved more in pages than many books I’ve read three times the length. The two men share their solitude, and find friendship in an unlikely dialogue between two very different cultures.


Neither speaks the other’s language, but Monsieur Bark is sympathetic to the foreigner’s need to care for the child. He feels good when his large new friend places a comforting hand on his shoulder and admires his child. Having rushed around like a loon this morning catching up on my day off tasks I sat down a couple of hours ago with a well-deserved cup of coffee and idly picked up ‘Monsieur Linh and His Child’.

Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel – review

He makes his way through the unfamiliar land that will “never be his”, where soup lacks the “tang of lemongrass, the sweetness of fresh coriander, the smoothness of cooked tripe”, just as a convict is “compelled to endure his punishment”. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: He washes her and changes her and tries to feed her.

One day while looking out at the ocean Monsieur Bark speaks of his memories of fighting in the war, presumably in Vietnam, which is where presumably Monsieur Linh himself is from.

Meneer Linh raakt zijn familie kwijt in de afschuwelijke oorlog die zijn land teistert, en besluit samen met zijn baby-kleindochter te vertrekken naar de andere kant van de oceaan, naar een land waar hij niets of niemand begrijpt. Then he is moved from the hostel to a new residence and is afraid he has lost his friend.

Creo q es monsieuur esos libros que hay que releer de vez en cuando. Sandwiched between novels in the first person, this is a third-person narrative.

The puppet strings, which should have been artfully hidden, are out in plain sight, and they are attached to the reader! Monsieur Linh finds himself in a strange country, unable to speak the language, unable to relate to anyone except this child who he clings to ceaselessly.

The last novel by Philippe Claudel to be published in English was Brodeck’s Report, a grim story about the aftermath of war and war-guilt set in an unidentified province between France and Germany.

Yet a twist gives lingering resonance to a modern fable that pointedly extends the trilogy’s historical scope to wars beyond Europe. But his wife is now dead, and Monsieur Bark is in mourning like Monsieur Linh. What can I do if my dog is scared this Halloween? Exposing the surreal routine of prosecuting murder while, just out of earshot, state-sanctioned slaughter grew to mechanical frenzy in the trenches, Grey Souls established the trilogy’s threads, of survivors’ guilt and moral ambiguity at apocalyptic moments in modern history.


Foi a primeira vez que li Philippe Claudel e soube-me a pouco. Reggie Nadelson on Blood Count.

Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel

So the main thrust of the story, apart from the relationship between Monsieur Linh and his granddaughter is the relationship between Monsieur Linh and Monsieur Bark, a man who he meets not long after arriving in the city.

I found the boundary line to bathos getting uncomfortably close a few times in this text, but this peregrination across an unknown city culminating in last second tragedy, a baby who never cries, never even makes a sound throughout the book, Linh smiling away while he lies crushed by the car because he found his friend Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

His village destroyed and his son and daughter-in-law killed by bombs, Monsieur Linh has little to live for, except that he found his six week old granddaughter safe not far from her parents’ torn corpses. Although I finishe Philippe Claudel’s Monsieur Linh and his child is a wonderful, original and haunting study of an an elderly refugee from an unknown war torn country.

Monsieur Linh and His Child

They have both suffered. Monsieur Linh is an elderly refugee who arrives in France with other “boat people”, clutching a flimsy suitcase and a newborn baby. Although Monsieur Linh does not understand the meaning of the actual words, he picks up on their emotional content, and the two become fast friends, seeing each other every day, with the old man’s grandchild sitting between them, as quiet as an angel.

The descriptive passages of his homeland and the murders of his family were evocative and heartwrenching and the playing out of his new friendship with Bark himself affected by personal loss and his experiences in Linh’s homeland were perfectly weighted and affecting.

La petite fille de Monsieur Linh by Philippe Claudel

Email required Address never made public. Una historia dura y tierna al mismo tiempo. His son and daughter-in-law have died in the konsieur and he is left to care for their only child and his grand-daughter. Monsieur Linh sets off to cross it eagerly… and I think I should leave it there, adding only that the story has a twist in its tail. Nothing’s black or white.