Onlooker, The

Episodes

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2016032520160326 (R4)

Paris at the outbreak of World War Two. Hugo is a classic dandy in the European tradition. He spends his time dining with aristocrats, enjoying all the delicacies and fine art Paris has to offer. But he is an outsider, an American with an international heritage. It's a status he enjoys and that he believes - along with his wealth - insulates him from the imminent war. But that war eventually comes to get him.

Irene Némirovsky is best known for her novel Suite Francaise. She was also a highly accomplished short story writer, and this is an example of her mastery of the form. A story of exquisite taste with a sting in its tale, made even more poignant in the knowledge that Némirovsky herself perished in a Nazi death camp.

Author: Irene Némirovsky

Reader: David Suchet

Translator: Bridget Patterson

Abridger: Lisa Martinson

Producer: Simon Richardson.

In Irene Nemirovsky's story a foolish man's illusions are shattered by the outbreak of war