Alexandra Jacobs at the NYT:
Remember boredom? The first English translation of the French writer Marguerite Duras’s second novel, “La Vie Tranquille,” published by Gallimard in 1944 but only just here as “The Easy Life,” will transport you right back to those old blank stretches of time when you couldn’t just whip out the Candy Crush. When there was no electronic refuge from your own punitive thoughts, or absence of thought.
“Nothing can be as surprising as boredom,” declares Duras’s narrator, Francine “Françou” Veyrenattes, who is undergoing what we might now call a quarter-life crisis, in one of several meditations on this grayest and most grinding of emotions. “You think each time that you’ve reached the end. But it’s not true. At the very end of boredom, there is always a new source of boredom. You can live off boredom.” (And maybe a little escargot?)