Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
by Jean-Patrick Manchette, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith, with an introduction by Luc Sante
An NYRB Classics Original
The thrill of 1968 is long over, and the heavy fog of the 1970s has settled in. In Paris, however, the Nada gang—or groupuscule—still retains a militant attachment to its revolutionary dreams. Bringing together an anarchist orphaned by the Spanish Civil War, a Communist veteran of the French resistance, a frustrated high-school teacher of philosophy, a timid office worker, a terminal alcoholic, and one uncompromising young woman with a house in the country, Nada sets out to kidnap the American ambassador and issue a call to arms.
What could possibly go wrong?
Writing so dark it gives a new meaning to the word noir.
Post Manchette, crime fiction in France acquired a stamp and a tone that turned it once more into an invasion of the everyday, a belligerent raid on appearances, a violent revolution in a genre hitherto guilty of complacency but now startlingly chilling. And Nada is unarguably Manchette’s masterpiece.
—Paco Ignacio Taibo II
The kind of violence for which crime fiction author Jean-Patrick Manchette had a propensity [is] the kind of violence that erupts onto a complacent peace like a bombarding invader and yet carries itself out with an almost choreographed agility. Manchette was a writer of urgency and cunning, of economy and laconic cool, and of narrative that verges on communiqué.
—Los Angeles Review of Books
He was like an electroshock to the chloroformed country of literature and the French thriller.