Next month I'm predictably and regrettably going back on my promise not to pick a dead white bearded French male author for at least a few months. André Gide Lafcadio's Adventures has simply been on my shelf for too long... it was the first thing that sprang to mind when prompted for a selection, so it must be taking up too much head space in these realms. I'll make up for it next month.... I think Lafcadio should appeal to members of this club for its supposed mystery content, not to mention Nobel Prize-winning authorship, for what that's worth. Discussion is at 7 PM on September 9th.
Passing with cinematographic speed across the capitals of Europe, Nobel laureate André Gide’s Lafcadio’s Adventures is a brilliantly sly satire and one of the clearest articulations of his greatest theme: the unmotivated crime.
When Lafcadio Wluiki, a street-smart nineteen-year-old in 1890s Paris, learns that he’s heir to an ailing French nobleman’s fortune, he’s seized by wanderlust. Traveling through Rome in expensive new threads, he becomes entangled in a Church extortion scandal involving an imprisoned Pope, a skittish purveyor of graveyard statuary, an atheist-turned-believer on the edge of insolvency, and all manner of wastrels, swindlers, aristocrats, adventurers, and pickpockets. With characteristic irony, Gide contrives a hilarious detective farce whereby the wrong man is apprehended, while the charmingly perverse Lafcadio—one of the most original creations in all modern fiction—goes free.