My Big Apartment
Winner of the prestigious Prix Medicis and a bestseller in France, My Big Apartment is a humorous and ironic look at the serious subject of growing up. Always accessible but never facile, Christian Oster's books tell of the endless human quest for love and equilibrium in the world. Oster's gift is to make this timeless theme new through deadpan humor, a slyly cerebral style, and a deeply ingrained sense of melancholy. Gavarine, the gentle but immature protagonist of My Big Apartment, is ambitious only in the search for love. When he loses the keys to his apartment, he loses much more than access to his home. Yet through a true comedy of errors Gavarine ends up finding everything he was looking for, in a way he could never have expected.
Though My Big Apartment can be read purely as a wry romantic comedy, the language is unfailingly rich in implications; there is always more going on in this story than meets the eye. At once unapologetically sentimental and overtly intellectual, Oster's writing belongs to that particular strain of French literature in which seriousness and jest, or passion and the cerebral, fruitfully coexist without effort or contradiction.