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Publisher Description

The most celebrated and controversial French novelist of our time now delivers his magnum opus—about art and money, love and friendship and death, fathers and sons.
The Map and the Territory is the story of an artist, Jed Martin, and his family and lovers and friends, the arc of his entire history rendered with sharp humor and powerful compassion. His earliest photographs, of countless industrial objects, were followed by a surprisingly successful series featuring Michelin road maps, which also happened to bring him the love of his life, Olga, a beautiful Russian working—for a time—in Paris. But global fame and fortune arrive when he turns to painting and produces a host of portraits that capture a wide range of professions, from the commonplace (the owner of a local bar) to the autobiographical (his father, an accomplished architect) and from the celebrated (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Discussing the Future of Information Technology) to the literary (a writer named Houellebecq, with whom he develops an unusually close relationship).
Then, while his aging father (his only living relative) flirts with oblivion, a police inspector seeks Martin’s help in solving an unspeakably gruesome crime—events that prove profoundly unsettling. Even so, now growing old himself, Jed Martin somehow discovers serenity and manages to add another startling chapter to his artistic legacy, a deeply moving conclusion to this saga of hopes and losses and dreams.

Fiction & Literature
January 3
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

djmirk ,

The Map and the Territory

I'm not sure what I just read, a book discovered mostly by chance, but it captivated me for awhile. It would be hard to tell anybody what it was about. An artist who has a kind of cold relationship with his father and a couple of affairs with women? His career is analyzed and there are a couple of discussions of art and architecture and then suddenly there's a gruesome crime drama centering around the author of the book with an epilogue speculating about life in the French countryside in the future. I wanted to get a sense of the current French psyche, and I think I did. I see no real similarities between this book/author and either D H Lawrence or William S Burroughs, as a New Yorker article stated, but I do like all three writers and will probably read another one of this guy's books some day.

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