The story is very French. What does that mean? Love, lust, obsession, sex, violence, despair, death...emotions in their extreme. The narrator is a man writing about the only meaningful time in his life, at age 30. He wants to immortalize this time before he dies (he is an old man of 60), yet continually expresses ambiguity about writing it down at all.
The story itself contains the above-mentioned descriptors and alludes to a tragic ending, so much so that, really, I could hardly put the book down, and read it rather quickly to discover the end.Two other stories came to mind as I read The Still Storm - Lolita, by Nabakov, for its self-absorbed, obsessed narrator, and Am I Insane, by Guy de Maupassant, for its lust, jealousy and finally its violence.
I also had a glimmer of Hop-Frog, by Edgar Allan Poe, for the spectacle-nature of the last scene. And also for the class distinction. Yes, I think in the end, this book is not so much about love as it is about class, and the blurring of class lines that inevitably did occur in the 19th century.I know that calling something a beach read, or a weekend read, or a summer read, is not a compliment.
And yet - if I were to recommend something to a person requesting such a thing, it would be The Still Storm. It is short, but captivating, and sufficiently intelligent and thought-provoking to provide worthwhile entertainment that one neednt be ashamed of. I will undoubtedly read more by Sagan.