Adam Haberberg

Adam Haberberg

With the same élan and wit that inform her internationally acclaimed and award-winning plays, Yasmina Rezas second novel, Adam Haberberg, revels in the tragicomedy of one mans midlife crisis.

While slumped on a park bench in Paris, a man is suddenly hailed by an old female classmate whom he has not seen since high school.

Somehow he finds himself riding in her Jeep, riding to her place, not for any of the sensational reasons you might imagine, but because he sort of got stuck in a conversation without any chance of escape.

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A man who, in order to hold on to a little momentum toward the future, attempts to exchange his own existence for that of words.___Adam Haberberg, from the novel Adam Haberberg For my ten-year class reunion back in 1982 I was irreverently drunk and rode to the head table, rumbling up through the main aisle in the meeting hall of a Catholic church we had rented, riding on the back of a large motorcycle driven by a fellow classmate, and Vietnam War veteran, Jim Anderson. This summer of 2012, in my small hometown in Michigan, they held the 40th high school reunion of this same graduating class of 1972. What I do remember was being painfully in love with a girl from far-off Kentucky who I had met in my hometown at the end of the summer before our last year of high school, and before the so-called experimental and recreational drugs to come that most of us would find ourselves partaking of. Reading this Adam Haberberg book by Yasmina Reza has made me remember, going back to that recent July of 2012 when I refused to participate with the others in reminiscing and celebrating our time attending high school together. The title character, Adam Haberberg, in his confusion over what the future may hold for him, was certainly, through a chance encounter with an old school chum, looking back through his past for the answers for how and where to go forward with his life and what remained of it. So in my own refusal to attend the reunion I still remembered and decided there were three ladies and one man I certainly did want to see again, but only to catch up with their lives and to find out if anything I believed about them was actually true. Marcia and I had a long history as kids competing with each other in the same small town, living at most five blocks from each other, walking home together almost every day from school, side by side, arguing over this and that, and muddling through all our early education at the same schools until finally graduating from high school in 1972. I remember taking her to a high school prom after she had recently broken up with her latest boyfriend who I had not liked since we had both become teenagers. I remember thinking back then, as much as I hated the prom, that I had nothing really better to do with my time than to attend this shitty event with my old pal Marcia and in my own way give her ex the finger. I wanted to see him again and tell him that I always thought very highly of him, his intelligence, kindness, and knack for staying pretty much unpicked-on and unseen through high school even with him being one of the biggest kids in our class. She was a pretty tomboy who I had played with a bit as a little kid, but never having any other personal relationship through the years except for the occasional friendly greeting when passing each other in the halls of our schools we attended together for all of those thirteen years. All through our schooling Mary and I were friends. Most of my fellow classmates would probably say privately that they considered Mary's whole family a little too privileged and likely a bit spoiled. Of all the girls I had ever known throughout my twelve years of schooling Mary would have been the one I would have chosen for me. I would have been happy to have just become best friends with her, but back in those days boys and girls weren't like they sometimes are now. For the duration of our childhood education together, from elementary through high school, Mary had pretty much avoided me. I attended, probably in elementary school, one of her birthday parties and I remember having a pretty good time in their very nice home. My Kentucky wife and I still keep a summer cabin west of town about ten miles out in an inland lake community and my mother commented that at one time in their long family past her father also owned much of this area as well, but had sold it all off through the subsequent years. We spent our senior year in high school sitting across from or next to each other in a Home and Family Living class. I think, looking back now, that the girls may have been a little sentimental as well about the finality of our long history of school years spent so closely woven together. After all the years of being nice to Mary she decided she would sleep next to me that last night in our tent. In a final note regarding this novel, Adam Haberberg, Reza is moving the basic story along in a nice and relaxed tempo, never moving ahead so fast and sure that her readers believe they are actually going to really get somewhere, but all along we know in our hearts that this time spent with her and her characters will damn well be worth it.

Romanzo breve che racconta una giornata nella vita in crisi di Adam Haberberg (il cui nome è anche il titolo originale del libro). Marie-Thérèse è una single di mezzetà, fa la rappresentante di gadget e ignora che Adam sia diventato scrittore a riprova del totale insuccesso della sua carriera, scandagliato lungo lintero arco narrativo. Marie-Thérèse rappresenta la parte sana, impermeabile alle difficoltà, forse stolidamente; dal punto di vista di Adam unombra che attraversa il tempo con una robustezza nauseante. Sullincontro tra i due aleggiano insistenti i fantasmi della loro gioventù, in particolare quello di Alice Canella, compagna di scuola, amica di Marie-Thérèse e oggetto del desiderio di Adam, che ne scopre con trentanni di ritardo la morte suicida.

Jasmína Rezavá je takovej Miel Hulibrk v sukni, co sem si pamatoval u od Nenávisti a tento pocit jsem si jet trochu víc pipomnl pi tení Adama Habebebe nebo jak to je.

I think I would be pretty mad if a monster who is deservedly a pariah bought the rights to my award winning play. Especially when you notice your age for the first time in a long time, maybe when an activity you used to be involved with grows harder or an old pair of clothes no longer fit or you see someone from your past, you think in terms so clearly of being in the act of growing older. I am younger than the main character here, but I still sometimes think about myself in a kind of kinetic aging way.

That was the first thing I asked myself when I picked up this book. Hes forty-sevennot too young to have a midlife crisisand his health and failing career is not the only thing to worry over; his marriage is also on the rocks. In an interview in The Guardian in 2001(so a couple of years before this book was first published) Reza said, I knew as a young child that everyone would die, that humanity was vile. All the while hes with her he continues to have the same kinds of thoughts and internal conversations he was having whilst on his own often drifting off and not too sure what Marie-Thérèses been saying in the interim. Which is exactly why the author has Marie-Thérèse appear and be the kind of person she is. That Marie-Thérèse turns out to have apparently unresolved feelings for him comes as no big surprise. I think probably what hes getting at is what Michiko Kakutani said in her The New York Times review where she writes, Adams long rant has little in common with Krapps or Lears existential rage at the world and everything in common with the late-night bloviating of an angry blogger, eager to whine and ventfull of sound and fury, and signifying nothing. To be fair both Krapp and Lear are much older than Adam and what we have presented to us in this little book is a midlife crisis, not an end of life crisis.

What makes the book good, along with confusing at times, is the writing. There is a constant jump between Adam's thoughts and his actual conversations with Marie-Therese.

In 1987 she wrote Conversations after a Burial, which won the Molière Award for Best Author.

  • English

  • Fiction

  • Rating: 3.27
  • Pages: 160
  • Publish Date: January 2nd 2007 by Knopf
  • Isbn10: 1400043158
  • Isbn13: 9781400043156