Title: One Night in November
Writer: Amélie Antoine
Publishing House: AmazonCrossing
Date of Publication: July 11th 2017
Rating: 4 stars
*Disclaimer- Any comments related to religion, politics and History in general, will receive the treatment initiated by Ivar the Boneless and reserved for his enemies in all his outrageous glory. Meaning that melted gold will burn said comments and those who wrote them will be blocked to oblivion. Seriously, you people who have come to Goodreads to start a fight, don’t try my non-existent patience. It will get you nowhere.. Unless you’re in for some good swearing to start the day…:) *
When I started writing this review, I took my pen, stopped for a moment and then put it down again. And this happened two-three times. Because how can a mere text communicate all the pain, the horror and death and brutality that became all too tangible and real that night of November, when the City of Light was forced to face a thick, bloody darkness in her beautiful heart? When creatures worse than beasts tried to massacre all that is young and good and hopeful. When madmen blinded by ignorance, false ideals and hatred for what they cannot have, tried to attack the future? Amélie Antoine attempted to pay her own homage to the victims of that nightmarish day and, in my opinion, she succeeded.
The novel follows young men and women, along with their families, during November the 13 2015, when the attack on Paris took place. These fictional characters will find themselves in the Bataclan, one of the most iconic concert halls in Europe, each for their own reasons. The stories are told in three parts, Before, During and After. I can tell you that from a technical point of view, the Before part isn’t very good and I bet my bookcases that it’s purely the translator’s fault. The French language contains many colloquialisms that cannot be easily translated to English and the translator literally butchered the dialogue, ending up with expressions that came across as if from a horrible American teen movie.
However, the aforementioned section is essential to the story. When we, as reader, go through this journey along with the characters, experiencing the different aspects of family life through the eyes of teenagers and adults and when we know what is to come, the impact is even greater. I couldn’t help it, my heart was gripped in terror, because this is a nightmare that is too recent and too alive in our minds and in our hearts. The parts of During and After are excellent. They are poignant and written in a way that reminded me of all the darkness and violence and pain that covered Europe that night, without resorting to gory details and melodramatic language that would cheapen the novel.
It is highly hypocritical to say that Antoine tried to make use of the attack for profit. Then, the same can be said for the thousands of stories taking place during the two World Wars, the 9/11 and all the wars that took place throughout the bloody History of what we call mankind. Let us be serious. In my book, Antoine fully succeeded in communicating the feelings that I experiences that night, sitting in front of my TV, staring in disbelief, watching the news all night long. Read it and form your own opinion.
Many thanks to AmazonCrossing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.