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Review on Mortelle by Christopher Frank
By El.N. | September 3, 2017

Mortelle by Christopher Frank was first published in 1972. This book reflects pain one might suffer in a society without individualism.

The book can take a day or two to read but its effects will remain in reader’s mind. Short, simple and straight sentences which target reader's comfort zone.  This book reveals how painful a smile can be, if it is forced.  How ugly transparency can be when glass walls are forced.

The question is how we can be treated without considering our individualism, in other words, society’s rulers cannot claim being fair by putting everyone in a single category. This story is an example of where the word “equality” is abused and where this leads to an “unfair” society. Although the main theme is non-individualism, on the background the society is divided to two groups: the first group which is the majority who are ruled by a minority, or the second group. Now the question is do the rulers believe individualism does not exist? Or they only use “non-individualism” as a tool to rule others. Moreover, the first group might have individuals who do not believe in a single tag for all society but they are tagged in the single category.

Now how can one benefit from this society where his\her real self is forced to be hidden in every interact, every feeling, every deed. Even he\she is forced not to have such thoughts. Still he\she has the power to have his\her own individual thoughts in mind and to live with them.

Beyond all above-mentioned, the story has a slight romance which does not mislead the reader. The love between the main character and his lover is elaborately crafted that its weight in the story does not affect the main theme.

It might be unbelievable that our team was not able to find an English translation of “Mortelle” in bookstores in North America.  At this point, we conclude that this book has not been introduced enough to English readers.  El Book Café suggests that this French fiction story is one of the best fiction stories written in 20th century.

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