Marc Marronnier is divorced, in his thirties and on a roller coaster to disaster. He spends his days drifting from one party to the next, drinking heavily, using cocaine and women as he pleases. He is so depressed that he no longer thinks about food. The only thing he uses daily is alcohol. Marc can afford such a life since he is a famous literary critic and one of the members of the crème de la crème de Paris.
He thinks of love as something that has an expiration date, to be more precise - it only lasts three years. And no matter what he does, the love circle will always repeat. The first year he will be madly in love, the second year there will be tenderness and fondness and in the third year there will only be boredom and eventually he will fall madly in love in someone else.
His failed marriage is a perfect representation of his belief. He loved his wife Anne so much that he immediately asked for her hand in marriage and soon enough they got married and started living together. They lived in a space too small for their great love, as he put it. Because they needed more space, they started going out more and more each day until they finally grew estranged. His marriage fell apart in a flash, just as it came together. His wife found pictures and love letters in his bag that didn't belong to her on their vacation. Marc didn't even tried to defend himself. He just let her go...
Depression that held such a tight grip on Marc didn't derive from the fact that his wife left him but from the fact that his mistress Alice didn't want to leave her husband Antoine because she found comfort and safety in her marriage despite her passion for Marc. Unrequited love was what put Marc in such a bad condition. While married he repeatedly cheated on his wife and now he is but a lover who waits for his love to call and ask for him (which doesn't happen often).
Frédéric Beigbeder is an enfant terrible of the French literature. With his repeated provocative works he has gathered many followers who believe him to be one of the last true and authentic voices of modern literature. He was often judged by his colleagues because of his uprising in wealth and prosperity and his carefree life in which he acts as a burgeois boheme. He is a perfect example of a man who lacks nothing in life and finds that boring which is why he seeks the only thing that cannot be bought - love. The only problem is that he is looking for love only in the highest circles of Parisian society. And while in a relationship he is doing everything possible to escape the boredom of everyday life, such as adultery, cocaine, alcohol... Whether you like this author or his style of writing or not, you have to admit that he is special.
Beigbeder isn't afraid to use everyday speech and curse words just as he finds completely acceptable to describe a woman's vagina and her smell or what happens when you get so drunk that you don't know whether to shit or puke first. Some of the scenes in his works may be shocking to some people. And some will say that he only uses such a speech only to create mayhem in the world of literature with only one purpose - to advertise himself. Whatever the reason, I found his style of writing and usage of language refreshing. No tip toeing around the hot pot, no sneaking around intimate scenes and such... just say it as you mean it.
I do not agree with his theory on love though. And I truly believe he doesn't either (which the ending kind of proves it all by itself). The love has no expiration date and no love is of the same kind. You can't label love and put it in the same packaging. Love is almighty, different for each individual and heartbreaking for some. Love is not a constant. You cannot foresee its consequences. And here the author himself shows his colors as a wealthy individual who complicates and over-thinks things just because he is bored. He thinks of love and writes about it only because that is one thing in his life that he cannot control. He has money, wealth, power, good reputation and everything he wants goes his way. But not love.
I hated his outlook on life and love. His constant adultery and debauchery. Only rich kids do that these days. Grow up Beigbeder. You cheated on your wife and would have continued to do so if she haven't found out about it and divorced your sorry ass. Then you weep for your mistress and how much you love her. But when she finally leaves her husband for you, what do you do? You go out with your friend and you both fuck some waitress with a nice smelling pussy. And the next day your mistress arrives and you throw yourself at her feet. Let me give you a word of friendly advice, don't fucking cheat on your wife / mistress / girlfriend and your love just might actually last more than three years. Oh yeah, and while you're at it, stop doing alcohol and cocaine and focus on giving your woman the attention she deserves.