C’est la Vie
‘Wonderful. . . properly noir’ Ian Rankin
‘Devastating and brilliant’ Sunday Times
‘Happiness for those unused to it is like food for the starving – a little too much can be fatal.’
Writer Jeff Colombier is not accustomed to success. Twice divorced with a grown-up son he barely sees, he drinks too much and his books don’t sell.
Then he wins a big literary prize and his life changes for ever. Overwhelmed by his newfound wealth and happiness, he feels the need to escape and recapture his lost youth, taking his son, Damien, with him. And if shady lawyers and mysterious girls lead them down dangerous paths . . . well, c’est la vie.
A twisted, trippy feat of French noir from ‘the true heir to Simenon’.
`Deliciously dark ... painfully funny' Marilyn Stasio, New York Times `Brief, brisk, ruthlessly entertaining ... Garnier makes bleakness pleasurable' John Powers, NPR 'Wonderful ... properly noir' Ian Rankin `Horribly funny ... appalling and bracing in equal measure' John Banville `Garnier plunges you into a bizarre, overheated world, seething death, writing, fictions and philosophy. He's a trippy, sleazy, sly and classy read' A. L. Kennedy `The final descent into violence is worthy of J. G. Ballard. 4 stars' The Independent `Combines a sense of the surreal with a ruthless wit' The Observer `Reminiscent of Joe Orton and the more impish films of Alfred Hitchcock and Claude Chabrol' Sunday Times `Tense, strange, disconcerting and slyly funny' Sunday Times `A brilliant exercise in grim and gripping irony, it makes you grin as well as wince' Sunday Telegraph `The combination of sudden violence, surreal touches and bone-dry humour have led to Garnier's work being compared with the films of Tarantino and the Coen brothers' Sunday Times `A mixture of Albert Camus and J. G. Ballard' Financial Times `Bleak, often funny and never predictable' The Observer `Combines a sense of the surreal with a ruthless wit' The Observer `A master of the surreal noir thriller - Luis Bunuel meets Georges Simenon' Times Literary Supplement `A perfectly balanced cross between a thriller and a social document' L'Express `A guaranteed grisly thriller' ShortList `Arch and lyrical ... a funny and outlandish story' Crime Thriller Fella `Garnier's main theme - the banality of a bourgeois existence - is a common one, although never, in my experience, has it been dealt with so succinctly ... a clever piece of literary noir' Killing Time Crime `Garnier's books are marked by their integration of strange characters into their French provincial settings as evinced by The Panda Theory and How's The Pain? and always retain at their heart a sense of human frailty, despite the blackness of the humour and at times horrific events. Combining the style of Simenon with the visual imagination and humour of the Coen Brothers, there is much to recommend these novellas. They are small works of literary genius, and I would urge you to discover them for yourselves' Raven Crime Reads `If you appreciate Georges Simenon's romans durs, i.e. his harder, edgier novels, Garnier is your boy ... He routinely tosses off penetrating philosophical truths like they're afterthoughts, as the French do so well. There's dark humor in these short novels, lots of apparently arbitrary brutality that's all the more chilling due to its seeming randomness, colourful characters, and some lines and passages that hit such a deep place, you just have to put the book down and reflect for a while after reading them' Criminal Element blog
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