Posts Tagged ‘Indrajit Garai’

‘The Bridge of Little Jeremy’ by Indrajit Garai – A Boy and His Dog Along the Banks of the Seine in Paris

 

‘The Bridge of Little Jeremy’ by Indrajit Garai (2019) – 367 pages

Some of the best stories are far-fetched and require a suspension of disbelief. ‘The story of ‘The Bridge of Little Jeremy’ surely is improbable, but this story is told in a direct and sincere manner which makes reading it a pleasure. Along the way, we get delightful scenes of pleasant Parisian ambiance and street life.

Jeremy is a 12 year old boy, almost 13, and he is the first-person narrator of this story. He lives with his mother in an old, old apartment which was passed down through several generations and is near the Seine River in Paris. They are within walking distance of several of the Parisian landmarks as well as a few of the bridges that cross the Seine. Now they may lose the apartment for failure to pay inheritance taxes, and his mother might wind up in prison.

Jeremy is truly a precocious boy. He can already sell his own paintings through a dealer with a shop near the Seine. He has had one surgery for his bad heart but requires another as soon as they can afford it.

One day as Jeremy is exploring his apartment building he discovers an underground vault in which there is what looks to him like a valuable old painting which has been slightly damaged by dampness, and he sets about restoring it himself. Of course there is a story behind this painting.

Jeremy’s dog Leon is also one of those amazing dogs you will only find in fiction.

The boy and his dog spend a lot of their time walking along the Seine. Here they gaze upon an impromptu music festival:

At eight in the evening, the sun is still beating down harshly, but the heat doesn’t bother those singers and dancers on the boat going over the river with their colorful banners. The festival is going on around the Ile Saint Louis too, and from our isle, with its shape of a vessel and all these people singing and drinking and dancing everywhere, looks like a huge discotheque cruising through the wakes of the Seine.”

When I was in my twenties, I took a two semester night extension course on the history of art which had a profoundly beneficial effect on my life. When discussing the Impressionists, our instructor made sure that we did not overlook or underrate “the merely pleasant”. Since then I have associated Paris with “the merely pleasant” which might amount to a walk along the Seine or any other river for that matter.

So ‘The Bridge of Little Jeremy’ is a fantastical tale with a light touch and with charm, beauty, and almost magic.

 

Grade:    A

 

 

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