• The Kites by Romain Gary 22 July 2018 | View comments

  • The Kites is set in Normandy during the second world war and its central narrator is Ludo, nephew of local hero Ambrose Fleury, postman and gifted kite maker. Ambrose creates airborne politicians, tiny dragonflies, unruly castles in the air. He is at the service of imagination itself – but with political strings attached. At no point does one lose sight of a kite’s symbolic potential, but Gary keeps ideas (about tenacity and freedom) lightly aloft and makes sure there are no narrative dives into trees. His voice is the equivalent of a cocked hat – the narrator is a beret-wearer – and style is at a consistently jaunty angle to content (although the translation is overworked – the French original is lighter). Ludo’s attitude to the people he describes might seem superficially self-abnegating but Gary busily redresses the balance, glories in the oddity of others and never misses a comic trick.

    To see the Guardian review of this book follow the link:  Guardian review of " the kites"  

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