The Story of Mr Sommer
Patrick Suskind, Michael Hofmann, Jean-Jacques Sempe
Mr B's review
A gorgeously-illustrated tale of a boy’s rural childhood, rich with heroic tree-climbing, wobbly bike-riding, crushing romantic encounters and the most fretful piano lesson of all-time! These young dramas are punctuated by the appearances of the mysterious Mr Sommer, our boy narrator’s enigmatic neighbour, who spends his days striding ceaselessly through the countryside with no apparent purpose or destination.
The partnership of Patrick Süskind’s funny and animated prose and Sempé’s colourful, spirited artwork is a match made in heaven.
A classic pastoral novella with an irresitible sense of humour and unexpectedly dark edges from one of Germany’s finest writers and France’s greatest illustrators. We simply had to bring this small but perfectly formed masterpiece back into print.
THE BOOK: An animated young boy navigates his way through the trials of a rural childhood – of heroic tree-climbing, wobbly bike-riding, crushing (near) romantic encounters and the most fretful piano lesson of all time. These dramas of growing up are punctuated by a local mystery. Why, every day, does his neighbour Mr Sommer hurry ceaselessly through the countryside, eating up the land-scape with huge strides and with no apparent destination? He speaks to nobody, runs no errands and stops for nothing – but for what purpose? Irresistibly funny and nostalgic, but with a twist of underlying tension, this is a classic pastoral novella brought brilliantly to life by the magical partnership of Suskind and Sempe.
THE AUTHOR: Patrick Suskind is the author of Perfume, which has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, The Pigeon and The Double Bass. The Story of Mr Sommer was first published in Germany in 1991.
THE ILLUSTRATOR: Jean-Jacques Sempe is one of France’s greatest cartoonists, who is best-known for the illustrated stories of Le Petit Nicolas.
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