A surreal nouveau-Gothic tale of death in a 1920s seaside hotel.
Two lovers arrive at a seaside hotel in 1920's Brittany. The other guests soon become obsessed with the man, the equivocal unsettling Allan. One by one they realise who he is—that Death has come to spend the summer with them. Amid the ceaseless thunder of the waves, the wild and often surreal Breton landscape, the group that gravitates around Allan—an uncannily contemporary figure—gradually disintegrates. His death seems to symbolize the end of a generation, the approach of war.
That Gracq wrote this oblique, prescient novel in a remote German prisoner-of-war camp makes its carefree jazz age setting particularly poignant.