You know, those folded-in extensions to the covers of paperbacks. That French flap says elegant. (And it makes a great bookmark.) Proof enough for me that, yes, I can judge a book by its cover. Like The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair. A few weeks after The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair was published in France, it became the most talked-about French novel of the decade and was immediately translated into thirty-two languages. Author Joël Dicker, touted as “Switzerland’s coolest export since Roger Federer”, wrote this novel-within-a-novel about a man in his mid-twenties who writes a novel. Hmm. It’s a cleverly constructed literary tale… and a probing thriller.
I love the tidbits about writing in the conversations between the characters, Harry (teacher) and Marcus (student). Harry tells Marcus how to write a novel, a novel people will lose themselves in, a novel people will talk about. Author Joël Dicker follows Harry’s advice. I was drawn in, intrigued, and hugely entertained.
In addition to those dishy French flaps, I enjoy translations. Like this one translated from Norwegian ~ a good wife, a bad husband, and a gone babysitter ~ set in Oslo. The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann is steeped in dread ~ part family drama, part psychological profile, and part murder mystery. Both of these novels wrestle with writer’s block and feature floundering novelists. And both sport French flaps, mais oui bien sûr.
So, French flaps.
What do you think?
Just a fancy-pants gimmick?
Or unpardonably pretty?