Not Everybody Lives the Same Way
Jean-Paul Dubois, David Homel
” Richly engaging . . . Skilfully translated by David Homel – Michael Arditti, Spectator
“A touching tale of a beleaguered dreamer . . . Lightness balanced by glints of harsh realism, a combination captured perfectly in David Homel’s translation” – Financial Times
***WINNER OF THE PRIX GONCOURT***
Paul Hansen is in prison. He’s been in prison for a couple of years now, sharing a cell with a huge Hells Angel with a fear of mice and an intense love of Harley Davidsons, who often reminds Paul that he could kill him at any moment.
But life wasn’t always like this. Before prison, there were his parents: Danish pastor Johannes and free-spirited Anna, the proprietor of a controversial art house cinema in Toulouse. There were his friends in the Excelsior, the block of luxury flats where Paul worked officially as a caretaker, and unofficially as a restorer of souls. And above all, there was his partner, Winona, a daring seaplane pilot, and their beloved dog Nouk.
Many of them are dead now: his parents, his friends, Winona and Nouk. Paul can still talk to them though; they appear in his dreams, as ghosts in his cell, breaking up the monotony and fear of his life behind bars. But Paul knows he cannot be released until he shows remorse for the crime that led to his imprisonment. And, even with his freedom at stake, for some things, true remorse is too high a price to pay. . .
Translated from the French by David Homel
Dubois has humanity rooted in his heart, but is under no illusions about anything . . . This cocktail of humour, intelligence and sentiment, freshly served with a deceptively casual elegance, is once again so successful * Bibliobs * A melancholy, luminous novel * Figaro * An affecting and nostalgic novel of lost happiness * Agence France-Press * Basically perfect * L'Obs * A masterpiece . . . Full of humanity, melancholy, irony -- Philippe Claudel
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