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In the Train

Written by Christian Oster | Translated by Adriana Hunter | March 2010
In the Train
Object Press | March 2010

Frank meets Anne on the platform in Paris. She is struggling with a heavy bag and he immediately wants to help. From that first moment, his thoughts and anxieties unravel in a sharply focused, engaging and introspective narrative. Falling in love isn’t easy for Frank, who quickly discovers he is never standing on solid ground.

Here, Oster manages the delicate task of capturing human turmoil in all its complexity—the hesitation, exhilaration and suspense; the daydreams and scrutinies; and the surprising, even alarming sensation of being carried away. Through the character of Frank, Oster opens the door to something larger, exposing and dissecting, without shame and with great humor, those thoughts and desires that can make us equally prone to passion, vertigo, and, in a pinch, to love.

With his unmistakable style, captured gracefully in Adriana Hunter’s translation, Oster merges humor, distance and uncompromising honesty in order to create a novel that is in turns funny, reflective, insightful and entirely seductive. He has mastered the art of digression in order to quietly provoke an uncanny sense of expectation, a feeling of suspense. How far his potential lovers can make it together is a question that enthralls us from beginning to end.

This book has been supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development as part of the translation grant program.

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