Downstream Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Downstream

Jean is a 40 year old civil servant in 1880's Paris. He is friendless, familyless and single. He rails against the misery of his life. He survives the drudgery of his job by going for walks in the evening and eating out at a bad local eatery. But when he tires of this he sets out further afield and explores other restaurants but they are equally squalid and the food dismal. He is however almost content in his lonely existence and is happy not to be trapped in a marriage. An acquaintance takes him out one night and they eat in a student filled table d'hotes and then go to the theatre. But both are terrible for Jean and he excuses himself. He is so relieved when he finds a patisserie which delivers dinner to ones home. He does up his room with the last of his savings in anticipation of eating alone at home. But the food is just as dreadful and he falls back into melancholia. Then he meets a prostitute but predictably this fills him with distaste and depression.
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The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

Chapter Analysis of Downstream

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   midlife crisis Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Main char. serviced by prostitute?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   servant Ethnicity/Nationality    -   French Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France City?    -   Yes City:    -   Paris

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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J.K. Huysmans Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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