Song of the Sea

Original title: Le goût du large

Author: Delesalle, Nicolas

Publication Date:

January 2016



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Literary Fiction

Song of the Sea

Original title: Le goût du large

Author: Delesalle, Nicolas

  • 2 Seas Represents: World Excl. French.
  • Selected for the Award of the Festival ‘Étonnants Voyageurs’, the Prix Orange du livre 2016 and the Joseph Kessel Award of SCAM.
  • Over 20,000 copies sold.


There are some amazing stories in there. Read it! – Jean-Pierre Elkabbach in ‘Bibliothèque Médicis’ on Public Sénat

You make us dream. This is a book that makes us dream, really exceptional and very well written. – Philippe Vallet in ‘Le livre du jour’ on France Info

Very successful, very beautiful… A delicate novel that could also be entitled ‘The Taste of Others’. – Lire

With humor and panache, […] [Nicolas Delesalle] wakes up in us desires from elsewhere. It is an exciting story!  – Le Parisien

[Nicolas Delesalle] takes the reader on an exciting journey, full of humor and wit, colors and flavors, and awakens our irresistible desire for elsewhere. – Ouest France

Nicolas Delesalle summarizes the need to slow down with great poetry. – Elle

With his second book, it is confirmed that Nicolas Delesalle is a great writer! […] And look at our world in dereliction, both benevolent and uncompromising, is precious. – BIBA

Moving, exhilarating. – GQ

Enjoy the time while discovering the world. – Livres de France

Driven by a sophisticated humor, Nicolas Delesalle is an accurate storyteller, well documented and attentive. – La Tribune du Réseau Presse

This is the novel of a life and our world that tells Nicolas Delesalle, the time of a container cruise.

Nicolas Delesalle reminisces the strongest moments of his career, always with this sincere humanist look for the Other. – L’Anjou Agricole

The quality of the descriptions is amazing. Powerful. A very beautiful novel and a very nice reading moment. – Nathalie Couderc, librairie Presse de Caussade

I laughed out loud, I had tears in my eyes and I wanted to scream louder… – Pascal, librairie Jaubert

A deeply human kaleidoscope. – Valérie, librairie Folies d’encre

Nicolas Delesalle confirms his talent as a columnist of the passing time. – Grégoire Delacourt

Nicolas Delesalle offers a beautiful work, a container ship as a metaphor for the life and memories of a man, all on a very topical fond. – Conso-Mag

A stroke of heart. […] An essential book to read soon. […] A deeply human story, full of emotion. – Babelio

Powerful. The planet seen by the benevolent eyes of a lover of the world. – Les livres de K79

I got passionate about this book […] something between Géo, Newsweek or National Geographic, an amazing trip in the centre  of the world. Appuyez sur la touche lecture

A look on a reporter’s life full of humanity and hope. What a journey! – Murmures de Kernach

A lot of finesse, sincerity, education, retreat and humor. A very moving journey. – Blablabla mia

“Time”: those four letters, that one simple syllable, said it all. Suddenly, I was going to have a wealth of it, not be running after it with my nose to the computer or the telephone. For nine whole days, I was going to be a millionaire of time, to plunge my hands deep into chests filled with seconds, to drape myself in jewels chiselled from pure minutes, immaculate of goals, expectations or anxiety. I was going to stuff myself with empty, hollow hours, feast on vacationing between the sky and the sea.”

From inaccessible Timbuktu to melancholic Tallinn, between a fatal chess game somewhere in a Russian hotel and an unlikely barbecue in Kabul, from the hue and cry on Tahrir Square to the depths of a cave in the Aveyron region… Over the course of a cruise on a cargo ship, Nicolas Delesalle tells the story of a life and of our world.

After the stunning success of The Smell of Cut Grass – finalist for the 2015 Relay Commuters’ Prize – Le Goût du large invites readers along for a fascinating voyage, one filled with humour, wit, color, scents and tastes that will lead to an irresistible urge to get up and go… somewhere, anywhere!

About The Smell of Cut Grass, the author’s first novel:

A limpid and musical writing style for this bitter-sweet first novel, which explores, with tremendous tenderness […] how much is left of the child each of us once was. —Le Monde

There’s a touch of Philippe Delerm in this joyfully nostalgic first novel. —Transfuge