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Written with his typical witty and delicate touch, Christian Oster''s new novel pokes fun at the postmodern male''s overrated sensitivity. Oster''s stories are simple--at least if we mean stories that can be summarized in a few words. In the case of The Unforeseen, such a summary would begin like this: the narrator, who has a perpetual cold, lives with a woman who never catches a cold and so has the immediate intuition that the cold she has now, as the two of them drive together toward the sea at the opening of the novel, is a very bad omen indeed. From the author of A Cleaning Woman, made into a film by Claude Berri, comes Oster''s new novel of perfect, erudite, and sometimes laughable sadness. Oster''s perceptive gaze, and the changing rhythm of his sentences, guide his reader through the psychological realism of obsession and desire. The honesty of emotion in The Unforeseen is matched only by its subversive intent.