Finished reading this one this morning on the Metro rail on way to work. Well, I didn't hate it but I did find it to be somewhat meandering and confusing. The story seemed to randomly jump from first person to third person narrations and from one point in the narrator's life to another in both time and location. I guess you could consider this to be an artistic style but it didn't work real well for me. The story itself was very simple about a young French girl's affair with an older Asian man in pre-war IndoChina and the taboos against such a relationship at the time and the tragedy of lost love. I did see the movie version of this a few years ago and I thought that the movie seemed to flow a lot better than the novel.
This was the second book I have read by Duras, the first being The North China Lover, and I don't think I will be seeking out any more of this author's work. Good thing the book was short or I wouldn't have planned on finishing it! The movie was MUCH better. :)
I thought this book was too vague and I was very detached from the story through most of it.
I was more interested in reading about the narrator's relationship with her mother than in the actual affair with the Chinaman himself. I was very disappointed in how the author just seemed to "skip" over the Girl and the Chinaman's budding relationship after they met. I didn't like how the story went straight from their car ride together leaving the ferry to in his bedroom. It was too abrupt for me.
I also enjoyed reading about how the Girl became the slut of the village. Call me twisted, but for some reason it entertained me.