Death to Giraffes
Original title: Mort aux girafes
An exceptional literary achievement that pushes the art of digression to the extreme in one 200-page sentence.
“To see Bar-le-Duc and die” is a French saying Frederic Berthet knows well. It was no accident he chose to put an end to his life in the capital of the French department, la Meuse. But why exactly?Perhaps because his suicide is tied to the Flamurd affair? How else can we explain this former librarian-turned-private-detective’s involvement in the disturbing lives of a Serbian giant and a young Sri-Lankan Jewish convert? To solve the mystery, perhaps we need to take a trip through time, back to the year 1862. Of course, let us keep in mind this all may just be one huge misunderstanding.
Taking digression and subject-switching to their absolute limit, this book aims to tackle hard questions about death and love in the prison system. Death to Giraffes is an indignant cry, a scathing feminist rant, a heart-stopping thriller with ecological undertones; it grapples with the most current of events. So yeah, you got it. This novel is a gut-wrenching romp that will leave you scarred for life.
‘Death to Giraffes’ is such a funny and crazy novel that it is easy to overlook the depth and seriousness of a work seven years in the making. Imagine one 200-page, virtuoso sentence telling a story about a man who hung himself in Bar-le-Duc, France. This story teaches us to keep our eyes open – always. To look for what is real regardless of how ridiculous or absurd it may seem. Literature is an all or nothing game; it can be tender and ironic, sweet and savage, obvious and unlikely. And it should be all of this at once. – Frédéric Martin, publisher
- Longlisted for the Prix Wepler-Fondation la Poste 2021
- Literary Selection by Télérama