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by Jean-Patrick Manchette, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith, with an introduction by Lucy Sante

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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?


Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681373171
Pages: 200
Publication Date:


Nada . . . is about as far as crime fiction gets from the cosy confines of the Anglophone whodunnit.
—Oscar Mardell, 3:AM Magazine

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.
—Frederick Méziès

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

[Manchette] was like an electroshock to the chloroformed country of literature and the French thriller.
—Jean-François Gérault

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