Set in 1968 in the Parisian suburbs, No Telling is narrated by twelve-year-old Gilles as he approaches his Solemn Communion, puberty, and some sense of the chaos around him.
His home is deeply dysfunctional: a dithering mother, a hard-drinking, womanising uncle who becomes his stepfather, and an older sister, Carole - an unbalanced revolutionary who hasn't danced her ballet steps since the death of their real father.
Gilles is blithely unaware that any of this is out of the ordinary, as he and his friend Christophe try and piece together a world from fragments of rumour and hushed adult conversation.
There is a deeper trauma here, however, far more shocking than anything Gilles could have dreamt of - a mystery it will take the events of the novel and eight years to resolve.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 528 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 06/05/2004
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099428831
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by stephenmurphy
3 other members. Perhaps the best novel of the 00s so far, if not the best contemporary novel. A truffaut film on paper. Buy it.
Review by ten_floors_up
An excellent and sensitively-written novel, but one that needs time to savour. I'm often less-than-thrilled by a modern novel that takes more than 500 pages to tell its story, but No Telling handsomely repays the effort.