Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

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Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

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The only reason Francis is in this business is because it’s the most easily manipulated market in the world, and he’s a master manipulator. Upon discovering that the man, Francis, is a renowned art dealer, Jeff finds a job at his gallery in hopes of connecting with Francis and processing the event. Mouth to Mouth is a compulsively readable, deliciously disquieting little novel with a sting in its tail.

The plot picks up pace as Jeff insinuates himself into Francis’s life, and the more dramatic Francis’s life reveals itself to be, the faster everything moves, us hearing less and less from the narrator, everything eventually overtaken by Jeff’s story. I came across Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson in a publisher’s catalogue, and requested it for some unknown reason (likely, on a whim). However, as Jeff discovers, Francis is a master in the art of maintaining a double life (Francis Arsenault isn’t even his real name) and of using others for his own ends. which introduces an element of dramatic tension and adds to the growing intensity of the book’s atmosphere, culminating in an abrupt but satisfying ending. It’s a very well written and involving tale which is also lent a certain Hitchcockian creepiness by the chance encounter and the other-worldly airport lounge setting.Now that we've finished all that, I just found myself wondering what the point was when it was all over. The novel is only 179 pages, divided into chapters that rarely exceed three pages — but what it lacks in length it makes up for in richness.

I had to see how things played out for Jeff, with a constant sense of hesitancy about what was to come. There he meets a former classmate, Jeff Cook, who he knew only vaguely, but who treats him as a long lost and valued friend. Now, this may have been a side effect of the drugs, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d only just arrived in the world, as a replacement for the old me. Jeff finds himself drawn closer and closer to Francis Arsenault, an art dealer with a supposed remarkable ‘eye’ for what will sell, a skill that doesn’t seem to extend to recognising the man who saved his life.

As he slowly gets more and more involved in this man's life his judgments and motivations become more and more murky. Jeff is obsessed with his perceived goodness, and he provides few details that make Francis out to be anything other than an asshole. Expert foreshadowing lets you know that the end is not likely to have been a good one for either the saved man or the savior. Put together a list of other novels that explore art, identity, corruption, and the tangled webs we weave, and discuss how these selections connect to Mouth to Mouth.

Unexpectedly traumatized by the event, Jeff develops a fixation on the man he saved, sure that they are now inextricably linked. He rescues and resuscitates the unconscious man, then quietly leaves when the emergency services take over.

Although Francis doesn’t seem to recognize Jeff, he soon takes him under his wing, initiating him into a world of unimaginable power and wealth.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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