You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris | Book Review

I stumbled across this book when I was browsing iBooks on Tuesday night. I had a look, it claimed to be a bestseller, it was only a few pence, and so (bargain lover that I am) I ordered it. As it’s a short book, this is going to be a short review.

You Will Not Have My Hate is written by a man, telling us his story after is wife was killed in a terrorist attack in Paris, leaving him to care for his 17-month-old son.

Obviously, this book is interesting purely in its subject matter, some of you may have seen Leiris’ famous facebook post where he wrote an open letter to the gunmen who tore his family apart. This book is an extension of that, it shows us the reality of his life now, in a grief-stricken reality.

As the book is only about a hundred pages long, it’s a fast read… I was finished within the hour. Not to mention, the fact that it’s written by a real person who has these real feelings, makes it unique.

I do have a few qualms, but a lot of them, I feel are due to translations. If you’ve ever read any other French translations I ‘m sure you’ll be aware that the language tends to be very simplistic, due to the nature of our ridiculous complex language, texts translated into English can seem stilted. For me, a lot of the metaphors and imagery seemed forced, but I don’t think it overly detracted from the sympathy I had for Antoine.

There’s something about this text, and the simple images that it convey’s that makes it feel very authentic. It was refreshing after studying Shakespeare for a week!

If you’re struggling to meet your reading goals for the end of the year and need an extra title to add to your Goodreads, I’d check this out. If you want a book that can be a talking point, I’d have a look. If you want a book that beautifully written and will having you sobbing over the pages, you might want to try somewhere else.

Overall, I gave this book at 3/5 stars realistically, it’s more like a 2.5/5 stars, but Goodreads won’t let me do that). I’ve been finding myself reading a lot of books like this lately, if you want a slightly longer and better written work in this genre, I’d check out This Is Where It Ends, a young adult novel taking place during a school shooting in America.


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