This month’s serious fiction for serious people, The Sermon on the Fall of Rome is the story of man, or a bar, or a family. Drawing parallels to Saint Augustine’s sermon, it looks at Marcel’s life from the perspective of the end, where old memories run together, and living grandchildren have a much closer impact than long-deceased parents.
A look at mortality, of empires and businesses as well as the obvious mortality of Marcel himself and the slow disintegration of memories of people as everyone who knew them gradually passes on.
I managed not to hold the back cover comparison of this to One Hundred Years of Solitude against it, and definitely liked The Sermon much better than the dull One Hundred Years. The translation reads well, with references that I recognise, which is an art I can respect, although I’m now tempted to read it in the original French.