Friday 14 June 2019

Forgotten Book - Goodbye, Friend

Goodbye, Friend is something of an oddity. It's a short, snappy thriller, and as the author explains at the end, it's not really a novel. Rather, it's a movie script stripped of the directions, so that each of the "chapters" is really just a scene. What makes it interesting is that the author is Sebastien Japrisot. I've discussed his books several times on this blog, and I'm a fan. So when I spotted a cheap second hand paperback edition of this title, despite never having heard of it before, I snapped it up.

The film itself is best known as Farewell, Friend, although an alternate title was Honour Among Thieves. It starred Alain Delon and Charles Bronson, something of an odd pairing, but one that may well have worked on the screen - I've yet to see the film, which was released in 1968, though I'm tempted to seek it out.

Tempted, I have to say, despite the fact that the book version is nothing special. Perhaps this was predictable for a book that's no more than a pretty basic script. The set-up is, however, intriguing. Two men who first encountered each other in the French Foreign Legion meet up again, quite unexpectedly, when both try to rob the same bank. Naturally, things fail to go to plan.

In essence, it's a heist story with a difference, and I can imagine that on the screen it would work well. In book form - hmmmm....It certainly isn't in the same league as Trap for Cinderella or One Deadly Summer, both of which are gripping as well as ingenious, and strongly recommended. But this one is at least mercifully short and, overall, it was worth a quick read. 

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