Troy’s Book Club: Life Is Short and Desire Endless

Continuing to burrow through books I’ve received for free in some way or another, I just finished “Life Is Short and Desire Endless” by Patrick Lapeyre, translated by Adriana Hunter.

This book is a pretty quick read and had some neat writing that I enjoyed. It tells the tale of a European love-triangle between an Englishwoman (Nora), an American in England (Murphy), and a married Frenchman (Bleriot). Instead of “triangle” though, their relationships could be more properly categorized as an “orbit”, in that both of the men circle the woman with near obsession, but she is steadfastly noncommittal in the long-term to either of them. The book mainly focuses on Bleriot and Nora, but is also able to share nice tangents into Bleriot’s dealing with his aging, discontented parents and with a dying “patron” of Bleriot’s.

I think I enjoyed this book more for its style, than for its narrative. The writer has a nice, conversational way with words, and as I read it, I found myself sending out excerpts to Twitter! Here are a few of the choice phrases I enjoyed:

+”It’s a relationship with no logical explanations, like in myths and legends.”

+”…one day he would love to know why it is that beauty makes him so vulnerable and dependent.”

+”Walking as others might pray.”

+”…he tries to capture the feeling of joy afforded by beginnings, when the future is still resting and everything is peaceful.”

+”like 2 actors rehearsing a scene from married life – but who have unfortunately forgotten their lines.”

+”All men feel nostalgic for that time when life was elastic with possibilities.”

+”How saintly of her – but then he realizes saintly is only an anagram of nastily.”

+”…as the laws of probability are no more negotiable than those of gravity, soon all he’ll have left are his eyes for crying.”

Lucky for you, Milwaukee’s finest independent book-seller, Boswell Books, carries this title, if you’d like to purchase it! It’s also available at the Milwaukee Public Library!


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