Matthieu Zéla has lived his life well. In fact, he's lived several lifes well. Because Matthieu Zéla's life is characterised by one amazing fact: his body stopped ageing before the end of the eighteenth century.
Starting in 1758, a young Matthieu flees Paris after witnessing his mother's brutal murder. His only companions are his younger brother Tomas and one true love, Dominique Sauvet. The story of his life takes us from the French Revolution to 1920s Hollywood, from the Great Exhibition to the Wall Strees Crash, and by the end of the twentieth century, Matthieu has been an engineer, a rogue, a movie mogul, a soldier, a financier, a lover to many, a cable TV executive and much more besides. (Black Swan)
1. the structure. The chapters switch between 1999 (when Matthieu tells his story), his childhood/teenage years, and somewhere between (always a different time but not chronologically). It is a nice change from the normal boring chronological life stories.
2. the beginning. It started out really great and funny (Matthieu tells the reader that he only can remember 14-15 out of his 19 wives on a good day). The writing style is good and easy without it seeming bad.
1. the logic. (I know that sometimes I think too logical but this is just bad)
1.1 In 1999 Matthieu is 256 years old and apparently he has never needed an ID. I mean, in 18th/19th century one could get around without it but not in the 20th century. If he has one, how did he get it? Does he get a new one every couple of years? I don't know.
1.2 His brother had a son and he had a son and he had a son and so on. All of them are called Tom, Thomas, Tommy, or something. None of them know that their uncle isn't ageing. He isn't in their lifes from their birth, it is not really said how they get in contact (exept one time). They all die in their early twenties when their girlfriend/wife/mistress is pregnant with the next Tom. I don't know how the original Tomas died and I don't know how Matthieu explaines their relation. And now he decides to change the fate of the current Tommy. So, he watched 8 or 9 of his nephews die without doing something. Ok, it wasn't his fault when they died in a war or something but he knew that it would happen.
1.3 One time, he is married for 20 years. He doesn't age a day but she doesn't seem to notice. Right...
1.4 His "one true love" is a horrible person. She treats him live crap and is in general a cold hearted b****. I have no idea what he sees in her other than her beauty. He just loves her, apparently. Whatever.
2. the end. Don't worry, I'm not gonna say anything. Just that there were two possible and logical outcomes to this story. One of them, unfortunately, became true. I would have wished for a surprising end that wasn't predictable. It was a boring end.
Like so many times before, I was really excited to read this book and once again I was dissapointed.