Environmental Vertigo

Original title: Le Grand vertige

Author: Ducrozet, Pierre

Publication Date:

August 2020



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Environment, Literary Fiction

Environmental Vertigo

Original title: Le Grand vertige

Author: Ducrozet, Pierre


A narrator ‘‘with soles of wind’’, the wonderfully labile writing marries up the most distant lands and slips into the darkest corner of the soul. Not for long. We do not dwell on it. We haven’t been carried away by such a cosmic vertigo since Laurent Mauvignier’s Autour du monde. Here it’s definitely more rock’n’roll, swifter. Following the example of this paradoxical “climate generation” experimented with the digital tool (quite energy-intensive), we go from one scene to another at the speed of a swipe. We blossom, we touch as we caress and we also peel since there is skin in Ducrozet, bond and touch, because the text is nothing without a body. The writer knows it well and does not forget that the skin is still the deepest organ. — Sean James Rose, LIVRES HEBDO

Le Grand Vertige whirls like a terrestrial globe. Ambitious and rooted in the “augmented present”, these two novels are as technical as they are embodied, cyborgs books, each of which asks in its own way the question of the course of action facing major contemporary issues. — L’OBS

Pierre Ducrozet plays madly with the fiction genre. It is unsettling at first and then the great vertigo of the writing sets in.— PAGE DES LIBRAIRES

Three years after L’Invention des corps, Pierre Ducrozet offers a new chapter to his study of contemporary imbalance and unfolds an ever more impressive fiction of ambition and modernity. Vertiginous.— LES INROCKS

A very beautiful relevant novel with an evocative strength that could open some eyes that refuse to open. A sometimes offbeat writing that sparkles with intelligence and inspiration, an atmosphere worthy of a thriller, breathtaking landscapes, a History that is always worth remembering: all of humanity locked in a paper monument, in its simplicity. Franc and frightening, majestic and predatory; an ambivalent human society that strives to destroy what keeps it alive. A green Goncourt, obvious to save the planet.— L’INTERNAUTE

After L’Invention des corps, Pierre Ducrozet continues exploring the contemporary world in an exhilarating choral and political book like a spy novel that weaves its web around the globe.— L’HUMANITÉ

We therefore understand that ecology is neither a theme of great vertigo nor its excuse, but the subject of a story that takes us and seduces us, that is to say, it leads us elsewhere going through the centuries and continents in an immense and feverish fictional momentum.— DIACRITIK

A pioneer of environmentalism and iconoclastic author and teacher, Adam Thobias is asked to head up the International Commission on Climate Change. He sets up a parallel network called Télémaque consisting of fellow iconoclastic scientists, insightful thinkers, experts and sympathizers whom he dispatches on discreet missions as far afield as the South Pacific, the Burmese jungle, Manaus and Moscow. This band of travelers includes Nathan Régnier, a star of microbiology and plant life, Mia Casals, a post-punk anthropologist, environmental feminist and neo-pagan, June, still virtually a teenager with ill-defined skills who lives for travelling, and Arthur Bailly, a globetrotting photographer.

But do any of them really know what Thobias expects from them? In due course, they will discover the disconcerting truth. As their tales of travel build up a disturbing encephalogram of a feverish planet, Thobias secretly conceives of an alternative and innovative project for community living.

Marketing Information

  • English sample available
  • Initial print run: 10,000 copies
  • Longlisted for the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean Giono and Prix André Malraux, Prix du roman des Inrockuptibles

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