I went to a Book Spa with a bibliophile friend and this was one of the books suggested for me I had not heard of the Author before and had no preconceived ideas on what it would be like I was hooked immediately Dark humour, well observed cameos of human nature and it makes you think Very French It is a short book so hard to write without spoiler alerts I would definitely read by this author Big thanks to Lucinda from Mr B s Book Emporium for your insightful recommendation like a Simenon noir eg Black Snow , and not just because it is set in France with some Belgium thing going on too It is as dark, and violent and God less, but funnier and messier Not as thrilling maybe or as bone chilling, and with less complex characters I prefer the tightness of Simenon, here the writing is full of similes, some surely taking the piss in one a man bounces off across the beach like a tennis ball, and in the next chapter someone else bounces off like a beachball , and often awkwardly memorable knees like banister knobs But there s no pause in the narrative if I may join in the figure of speech fun, it drives straight towards the brick wall of death at full speed I enjoyed it thoroughly. pascal garnier, the prolific french author of noir fiction and children s literature both, is enjoying some posthumous stateside recognition with a number of english translations how s the pain comment va la douleuris the tale of simon, an aging hitman as he embarks upon his last job with the unintended involvement of some secondary characters, the ornery and misanthropic killer s final hit turns out to be difficult than expected with moments of dark humor, garnier s novel is an entertaining and diversionary read the shark was drowning its sorrows inside its glass cage it turned this way and that for no apparent reason, taking no notice of the opaline jellyfish and shoals of multicoloured fish swimming out from clumps of soft seaweed there was not much to choose between aquatic life and life on earth either could be equally boring the proof was in the amphibians which had dithered between the two for thousands of years without ever making their minds up, or the valium drugged crocodiles whose sleepy eyes peeked above the surface of muddy pools like simon, who stood watching them, all these creatures seemed to be on standby, waiting for something that was always just out of reach over excited kids pressed their noses against the glass, banging their horrid chubby little hands against the walls of the tanks their shrieks ruined the silence of this other world from the looks on the faces of their harassed parents, it was clear many would gladly throw their offspring to the piranhas the world might well end in the same murky green waters that spawned humanity. translated from the french by emily boyce I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The title of this Garnier novella comes from an African greeting Rather than ask how one is doing, it is their custom to ask How s the pain That sums up the tone and style of this darkly humorous tale perfectly This is my fourth Garnier book and I must say that he uses the novella style to maximum effect Precisely the correct length so that the humor remains sharp and the darkness does not overwhelm a perfect balance.I am becoming quite a fan of Garnier He is clearly a master of the noir novella, so much so that I started off by comparing him favorably to the great noir masters yet now I believe that I should stop making comparisons altogether because his voice is so distinctive and original Ironic, yet realistic Darkly fatalistic yet quite funny at times Vicious and unredeemed unredeemable characters that nonetheless are sympathetic because of their understanding and acceptance of their own flaws.Each Garnier work is a jewel in its own right and this is no exception. funny and affective noir set in presentday france with some classic character studies, insightful social political economics commentary and bonus little known facts about french mineral water and pop singer.story is how a cold blooded, solitary hitman solves his health care problems. Rozczarowanie Nie dotar do mnie przekaz tej ksi ki i przez ca y czas trwania lektury czu am i wiedzia am, bo z wielu recenzji jakie czyta am wynika, e jest to m dra i g boka rzecz e co mi umyka Bardzo obiecuj cy tytu , bardzo smakowity pocz tek, nawet ok adka zach ca Ale, poza kilkoma trafnymi spostrze eniami, interesuj cymi zdaniami i ciekawymi por wnaniami, ca o raczej przelecia a przeze mnie bez wi kszego echa Od tej fabu y i wykreowanych postaci odbi am si jak od szyby.Spr buj jeszcze innej powie ci Pascala, a je li historia si powt rzy, b dzie to znaczy o, e nadajemy odbieramy jednak na innych falach Dziwne, bo ja bardzo lubi takie pesymistyczne, do uj ce historie i ponury klimat.Mimo wszystko polecam, ksi ka mo e intrygowa Tak s ysza am. Incredible book A handful of tragic and brilliantly described people meet over the course of a week Each of them is pain, physically, emotionally spiritually As their lives intersect there are out workings of peace and confusion, hope and hopelessness in equal measure With out any spoilers the book can be boiled down to this A hit man and a tragically optimistic sidekick go on a road trip The pathos is extremely well done as is the writing.This is a super book and I want to give a very special shout out to Emily Boyce the translator for Gallic books, it is superbly translated.I can t wait to read , Gallic Noir Simon Marechall Sta Per Morire Il Male Che Lo Corrode Dall Interno Gli Lascia Poco Tempo Da Vivere E Gli Rende Difficile Portare A Termine Il Suo Ultimo Lavoro Uccidere Un Uomo Perch Simon Un Killer, E Ora Stanco Solo E Amareggiato, In Una Cittadina Che Non Conosce, Incontra Bernard, Un Ragazzo Ingenuo E Innocente Non Sa Perch Gli Stia Simpatico, Forse Perch Tanto Diverso Da Lui Simon Chiede A Bernard Se Vuole Guadagnare Un Po Di Soldi, Un Compito Semplice Deve Essere Il Suo Autista In Quest Ultima Operazione Inizia Cos Il Primo Romanzo Pubblicato In Italia Di Pascal Garnier Un Autore, Scomparso Da Poco, Che In Francia Sta Guadagnando Un Culto Sempre Maggiore, Grazie A Una Serie Di Romanzi Che Si Avvicinano, Per Stile E Temi, A Quelli Di George Simenon Ed Emmanuel Bove Garnier Affronta Un Classico Tema Noir Quello Dell Incontro Tra Un Vecchio Killer E Un Giovane Puro E Ottimista E Ce Lo Restituisce Con Un Gusto Originale E Moderno Come Va Il Tuo Doloresolo Il Primo Capitolo Di Una Serie Di Romanzi Che Sono Puro Piacere Da Leggere It s an existential world we live in godless and dark Pascal Garnier author of How s The Pain knows this And yet he can t quite seem to let his characters completely descend into that bleakness without a little humor, and maybe even some hope Garnier can t let them suffer and thrash around without a little humanity.The book s main character is Simon, an old hired killer out to perform one last job before he retires He s meticulous about his profession and indifferent to his victims He tells people he is an exterminator, and approaches his work as if he were simply ridding the world of another pest But when he picks up a na ve young man named Bernard and hires him as his driver, Simon finds himself examining his own life in ways he doesn t expect Through his galumphing good hearted approach to being alive, Bernard soon entangles Simon in a humorous set of domestic circumstances that carries him into a world he has spent his whole life avoiding, even disdaining It s a world of snot nosed kids in diapers and trailer parks and backyard barbecues It s a kitsch world where people find pleasure in pet taxidermy and junk shops and daytime television Although it s set in France, this is not the quaint world of the French countryside we are used to being served Bernard, it turns out, is just too likable for Simon to resist The jaded killer sees something in his driver s naivet that s enviable It s the very thing Simon hasn t allowed himself in his long life a sort of ignorance is bliss approach to life that makes this dark world a little brighter, even happy and fun.Pascal Garnier offers this tale with a large dose of poetry Even when he s writing about something so unsettling as death, he does it with an off kilter beauty that permeates the entire novel The life drained out of her body like oil from a drum His voice bounced off the ceiling vaults like a trapped bird And Garnier doesn t dwell gratuitously on the actual violence It gets only a mention as it s happening He instead, rather tastefully, focuses his story on the world from which that violence arises Thrill seekers will find this book unsatisfying, but lovers of great writing will be enthralled Monsieur Garnier himself left the world a couple of years ago But he left behind a dozen or so gems, all recently translated into English and available for our pleasure It s highly worth a reader s time to delve into their bleak, humorous, and beauty laden pages. At the heart of this story is an unlikely friendship between a naive twenty something man and an elderly gent on the cusp of retirement The road trip and unlikely friendships are the stuff of great films Simon Marechall who claims to be an exterminator of vermin at the end of his career meets Bernard an aimless but good soul who he employs as his driver so that Simon can complete his last job They set out from Val les Bains to Cap d Agde On the way they meet other characters a shallow young lady with a baby and an older lady who is a taxidermist and takes a shine to Simon Bernard s alcoholic mother Anais has a few chapters dedicated to her as a portrait of her failed life unfurls We know about Anais by the end of the story than we probably know about the books protagonists.This is another one of John Banville s recommendations I admired the writing style, a moped fades into the distance leaving a long rip through the fabric of the sleeping city , time did not follow its usual course in hotel rooms it stagnated like the dead arm of a river his shoes sit quietly at the base of the bed On the dot of eight o clock, the TV news signature tune spread like a powder trail down the row of caravans, the newsreader s chubby face replicated endlessly The ordinary and everyday is present but it s given a touch of poetic resonance.Even though the story seemingly lacked character depth, I still felt invested in the characters Even the clinical violence in the book seems mundane, every day and lacks the gratuity of other books about hit men There is no real dogged pursuit of an individual When there is it is almost anti climactic This book is different, darker, circumspect and particular than a lot of noir Simon s age lends a poignancy to the story There is a healthy dose of existentialism This would make a great film as it would fit well with what world cinema produces on a yearly basis This is offbeat Gallic noir I liked Garnier s style, noir in name noir in nature.
Pascal Garnier, who died in March 2010, was a talented novelist, short story writer, children s author and painter From his home in the mountains of the Ard che, he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life Though his writing is often very dark in tone, it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry witted humour Garnier s work has been l
- 224 pages
- Comment va la douleur?
- Pascal Garnier
- 02 February 2019 Pascal Garnier