Alain Mabanckou: Verre Cassé (Broken Glass)


The latest addition to my website is Alain Mabanckou‘s Verre Cassé (Broken Glass), another colourful and lively novel from the Congolese author. In this novel, the narrator is called Broken Glass – we never know his real name – and he seems to spend most of his time in a bar called, simply, Credit. The bar has one advantage for the various patrons, namely it is open twenty-four hours a day. The owner had one day passed some notebooks to Broken Glass and asked him to keep the notebooks as a record of the bar, in case anything happened to him. Broken Glass, however, decides to write his own account of the bar and its patrons and this book is his account. He tells lively, colorful stories about himself and the various patrons. Several of the patrons, including Broken Glass himself, had been thrown out by their wives/partners because of their drunkenness, while the others all seemed to have had failed relationships and ended up in the bar for solace. Indeed, this novel can be said to an oral account (albeit written down) of a few men who have completely failed to achieve much in life, except to get drunk.

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