Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Write to Kill book by Daniel Pennac

Photo Author Unknown


English -- Write to Kill (Harvill Panther)
by Daniel Pennac (Author), Ian Monk (Translator) 

Benjamin Malaussene is a downtrodden publisher at Vendetta Press. Treated as a scapegoat by Queen Zabo, doyenne of publishing, he finally resigns, only for Zabo to offer him a starring role. All he has to do is to impersonate the world's best-loved, but hitherto anonymous author, J.L.B.


    "Pennac writes entertainingly about a lot of things and monkeys around with what might be called fantastic realism, meaning that what he writes is less realistic than surrealistic. That is probably why French critics, who turn up their noses at run-of-the-mill mysteries, swoon over his literary achievement and affirm him as their top crime fictioneer. The less convincing his situations, the less plausible his plots, the more they praise his idiomatic language, demotic dialogue, evocative slang, burlesque verve. Unfortunately (...) what can amuse in French works less well in English." - Eugen Weber, The Los Angeles Times

    "(E)ven when in a coma Malaussène's reflections on culpability lead crime readers in directions they have never considered before, so by the time the various plot-twists are untangled, none of it feels too absurd." - Scott Bradfield, The Times

    "Daniel Pennac's tongue-in-cheek unrealism is fast-paced, stylish and hugely entertaining, a mixture of crime spoof and the stock-in-trade of fairy tale: a sleeper awakened, a good fairy and a happy ending. But Pennac's unfailing good humour is never cosy, for underneath the fun runs a swell of fierce scepticism which rocks the multiple mendacities peddled by authority, vested interests and capitalism in its current imperialist mode. Ian Monk, catching the jokes and matching the argot, has translated Pennac splendidly." - David Coward, Times Literary Supplement

    "Write to Kill (...) takes theorists' forebodings of "the death of the author" seriously -- and also tosses in jokes about publishing, modern penology, and the mechanisms of celebrity. Its high-octane intellectualism suggests Foucault rewritten by Elmore Leonard, but you don't have to get the theoretical play to get in on the fun." - Jesse Berrett, Voice Literary Supplement