Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Mystery Guest by Grégoire Bouillier

Bouillier's memoir The Mystery Guest is unlike anything I've ever read in that it is so intensely personal, almost to an embarrassing degree. But I couldn't put it down. Bouillier details the abrupt end to a four-year relationship and the sudden reintroduction of his former lover into his life when she calls to invite him to be a "mystery guest" at a birthday party.

After the phone call, Bouillier seems to make us privy to every single thought he has before, during, and after the party. He lets the reader see his obsession with finding answers to his questions about his past relationship, and his process for actually coming to answers that satisfy himself.

The story is unique in that it is almost entirely exposition of his thoughts, but is still spellbinding in its own way. In the end, I'm sure everyone can see a part of themselves in Bouillier, whether they would want to admit it or not.

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