Author(s): Boris Vian; Brian Harper (Translator)
Raymond Queneau called it the "most poignant love story of our time," and Julio Cort zar said of its author: "I can't think of another writer who can move me as surreptitiously as Vian does." Boris Vian (1920-1959) was a songwriter, trumpet-player, poet, playwright and pataphysician, but is best remembered for his 1947 novel, Foam of the Daze, a jazz-fueled science-fiction romance that mingles bittersweet and surrealist absurdity with a melancholic meditation on the frailty of life. It tells the tale of Colin, a wealthy young dandy, and Chloe, his newly wedded wife who develops a terrible illness: a water lily in her lung. The supporting cast includes Chick, an obsessive collector of Jean-Sol Partre memorabilia; Colin's libertine manservant Nicolas, a Jeeves for the jazz-age; the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre himself, Vian's rib-poking tribute to his friend Jean-Paul Sartre and the pianocktail: a cocktail-mixing piano whose individual notes are tuned to liqueurs that mix incredible cocktails. Michel Gondry's film adaptation of the novel, to star Audrey Tautou, will begin production in 2012.