Tantor Media. Mar. 2024. tr. from French by John Lambert. 5:33 hrs. ISBN 9798855515589. $19.99. F
In Louis’s (The End of Eddy) autofiction, listeners are invited to explore one man’s quest for identity. Marked by the violence and poverty of his youth, Eddy embarks on a path toward self-reinvention, navigating the delicate balance between self-denial and self-discovery. At the heart of this journey is his struggle to accept himself as a gay man and move on from the relentless harassment he received as a youth. When he is introduced to an educated, monied family, he begins a project of self-transformation, molding himself into their image by altering his name, appearance, mannerisms, and personal history. As he strives to assimilate, he grapples with conflicting desires—the yearning for upward mobility juxtaposed against nostalgia for the familiar sights and smells of his past. Before long, he finds a new influence and begins the process again. Narrator Graham Halstead adeptly captures the essence of Eddy’s narrative, delivering a solid performance. However, while Halstead skillfully portrays the evolution of Eddy’s character, there is a missed opportunity to convey the metamorphosis through nuanced shifts in voice and tone.
VERDICT This raw and haunting testament to the human experience will captivate listeners with its unflinching portrayal of self-discovery and the quest for belonging.
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