Missing Person

Missing Person

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"For ten years Guy Roland has lived without a past. His current life and name were given to him by his recently retired boss, Hutte, who welcomed him, a one-time client, into his detective agency. Guy makes full use of Hutte's files - directories, yearbooks, and papers of all kinds going back half a century - but leads to his former life are few. Could he really be that person in a photograph, a young man remembered by some as a South American attache? Or was he someone else, perhaps the disappeared scion of a prominent local family? He interviews strangers and is tantalized by half-clues until, at last, he grasps a thread that leads him through the maze of his own repressed experience."
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : David R. Godine, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781567922813
Branch Call Number: FICTION Modiano 2005
Characteristics: 167 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Weissbort, Daniel
Alternative Title: Rue des boutiques obscures


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 20, 2017

The basic idea of the book - that an amnesiac man who works for a newly retired private investigator decides to find out about himself - is inherently interesting, but I found the book rather flagging for almost its entire length (and its only 167 pages long); perhaps it would have worked better as a sort of fable; there were no wondrous insights expressed aphoristically, and the tone was rather flat throughout; I had to push myself a but just to finish it.

Jun 17, 2015

What if the missing person you are investigating is your own lost identity? A fascinating story.

Apr 01, 2015

Reminds me of Roberto Bolano's "The Savage Detectives" in a way.

Feb 11, 2015

Guy Roland suffers from amnesia, and after 10 years of living in Paris under an assumed identity, he embarks on a quest to discover his past. Modiano's take on memory and remembrance should be compared (and, importantly, contrasted) to Proust's - Roland spends the length of the novella looking for his memory-triggering madeleine - a photograph, a name in a phone directory, a dressmaker's mannequin, a voice on the telephone, a brass handrail. But every potential cookie either leads to dead ends, unreliable sources, or memories of questionable veracity.

A particularly nice recurring motif involves Roland being given collections of keepsakes and artifacts that belonged to others as if his past can only be reconstructed out of the detritus of those who he may (or may not) have known (or been). "It certainly seemed everything ended with old chocolate or biscuit or cigar boxes." In a way, Roland relies on the memories of others to help him reconstruct his own and becomes a construct rather than a blank slate - which, perhaps, we all are anyway.

Reading "Missing Person" is also a little like experiencing "L'année dernière à Marienbad." Like that film, the structure is non-linear, the interactions between characters are rather dreamlike, and the depictions of past events are always bathed in a fog of ambiguity.

Feb 09, 2015

The cat can flat out write. Funny nobody ever heard of him but that's how you win a Nobel. This is a fun read. easy. simple. Can't wait to get to the head of the line for his novellas.

Oct 09, 2014

Où est la version originale?


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top