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?
As always, [Manchette] deftly keeps generalizations at bay and crafts a novel that exposes, critiques, but, most importantly, entertains. . . . The lasting impact of Nada, and of all Manchette novels, owes to the author’s skill at portraying the assault of the political on the personal, without ever making it explicit.
—Tom Roberge, Los Angeles Review of Books
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
He was like an electroshock to the chloroformed country of literature and the French thriller.