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Dalkey Archive Press, 2003 - Fiction - 245 pages
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Set in a bizarre and slightly sinister town where the elderly are auctioned off at an Old Folks Fair, the townspeople assail the priest in hopes of making it rain, and the official town scapegoat bears the shame of the citizens by fishing junk out of the river with his teeth. Heartsnatcher is Boris Vian's most playful and most serious work.
The main character is Clementine, a mother who punishes her husband for causing her the excruciating pain of giving birth to three babies. As they age, she becomes increasingly obsessed with protecting them, going so far as to build an invisible wall around their property.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An impish satire on regimentation—as seen in the delicious particulars of this fetching 1953 novel, previously, unforgivably unavailable in English translation.French author Vian crammed a lot of ... Read full review

Heartsnatcher (French Literature Series (Normal, Ill.).)

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Released in French in 1953, this translation dates back to 1968. The story follows the seriously strange and sinister goings-on in a small French town, where seniors are auctioned off at the Old Folks ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11

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About the author (2003)

Vian was an engineer, inventor, jazz trumpeter, actor, recording artist, and prolific writer.

Stanley Chapman was a British architect, designer, writer, and translator, most notably of Vian ("Mood Indigo") and Raymond Queneau. He was the founder of Outrapo and a member of Oulipo, the College de 'Pataphysique (of which Vian was also a member), and the Lewis Carroll Society. He died in 2009.

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