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By prospect   March 2009

Fiction The Kindly Ones By Jonathan Littell. Published on 5th March by Chatto & Windus, £20

Prize-winning French novels rarely stir up much interest abroad, or at any rate in the English-speaking world. But The Kindly Ones (or Les Bienveillantes) caused a commotion when it carried off the 2006 Prix Goncourt, largely on account of the alleged irony that its author, Jonathan Littell, was half American.

Such distractions can now be placed to one side, because this monumentally bulky novel has finally been translated into English and it is an extraordinary work, deserving of the praise heaped upon it. That’s…

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