Songs build little rooms in time
And housed within the song’s design
Is the ghost the host has left behind
To greet and sweep the guest inside
David Berman, “Snow Is Falling in Manhattan”
I know, I know: the Vernon Subutex trilogy is set in Paris, and could not be set anywhere except Paris. I also know that Manhattan is not Paris. But.
The first time I heard “Snow Is Falling in Manhattan” all I could think about was former GenX record store owner Vernon Subutex couch surfing after his rock star friend and benefactor dies (either by his own hand or someone else’s), leaving Vernon with no means, slender or otherwise. This is the catalyst for the journey within the story, as Vernon is evicted and forced to become a permanently peripatetic guest of friends all over Paris.
He becomes something else entirely in Vernon Subutex 2. As for the final installment of the trilogy, it’s not due in the States until next year. This will give me ample time to re-read the first two books while wishing I could experience them for the first time again.