One night in a Parisian nightclub and the aftermath of a marriage provide the stories for these two novels by Frederic Beigbeder, award-winning author of 'Windows on the World'. Both novels, translated into English for the first time here, are narrated by Marc Marronier, a shallow, superficial, rich Parisian who works as an advertising executive, but concentrates much of his energy on frequenting the demimonde of Parisian clubs and bars. It's a world Beigbeder is all too familiar with, and his caustic observations are all the more accurate for it. In 'Holiday in a Coma', Marc Marronier is invited by his old friend, an American DJ, to the opening of a new nightclub called The Shitter (a satirical take on the famous Paris nightclub, Les Bains Douche). Taking place over a single unforgettable night, the novel documents everything from the pit-bull bouncer on the door, to the drugs, cocktails and wannabes who frequent the club. Marc has set his sights on seducing a catwak model -- any one will do -- and is trying to keep a clear head while all around are paying good money to lose theirs.
A catalogue of degeneracy, drugs, sex and decibels, 'Holiday in a Coma' is written with a fury and passion that reflect the author's own relationship with a world and he both loves and loathes. In 'Love Lasts Three Years', our hero Marc has just been divorced and -- shallow opportunist that he is -- has decided to write a book about it. He has a theory that love lasts no more than three years, and here -- while recounting the highs and lows of his marriage and taking us through brash nightclubs, vainglorious offices and soulless designer apartments -- he brings to bear the theoretical and the empirical to prove his point. Both frightening and funny, the book reads like a diary: sometimes tender and real, sometimes fantastical and cruel, peppered with Beigbeder's acerbic one-liners and trademark wit.
Frederic Beigbeder was born in 1965 and lives in Paris. He works as a publisher, literary critic and broadcaster. His novel 'Windows on the World' won the 2005 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.