The Annual Banquet of the Brotherhood of Gravediggers
Original title: Le Banquet annuel de la confrérie des fossoyeurs
“Jubilatory! Playful novel, sequin and particularly funny” — François Busnel, France 5 La Grande Librairie
“Rarely, a book on death has been so rejuvenating. With The Annual Banquet of the Brothehood of Gravediggers Mathias Enard offers us the most demure and most appalling novel in a long time” — Florence Bouchy, Le Monde des Livres
“A baroque and rabid recitation, around a delirious banquet. It is the pen and the unbridled fantasy of Mathias Enard that lead the saraband, the bacchanal, until thirst” — Thierry Clermont, Le Figaro Littéraire
“Prodigious novel. We do not know whose reincarnation Mathias Énard is: charming minstrel, mischievous fox from a medieval story or scholarly vaguemaster of 1914 … What is certain is that he follows the brilliant and crazy compass of his imagination and once again invites the reader to get drunk on literature.” — Gilles Heuré, Télérama
“A gargantuan novel.” — Grégoire Leménager, L’Obs
“Powerful, unexpected, crazy: such is The Annual Banquet of the Brotherhood of Gravediggers” — Antoine Perraud, La Croix
“Terrific novelistic fireworks display” — Marie Chaudey, La Vie
To research his thesis on life in the countryside in the 21st century, David Mazon, a Paris-based anthropology student, travels to La Pierre-Saint-Christophe, a village on the edge of the Poitevin Marsh. His goal is to observe the customs of its colorful inhabitants, not least the mayor and truculent boss of the local undertaker’s. In the grand sweep of history, death is forever encroaching on the living, but here there is a three-day truce.
The faithful servants of death throw off the shroud of mourning and revel in a gargantuan feast known as the Annual Banquet of the Brotherhood of Gravediggers Under the approving eye of the municipal undertaker Martial, the brotherhood drinks, eats and makes merry until they fall under the table, and then they return to bury their fellow men.
Exhuming gems of popular culture and giving free rein to his comic talents, Mathias Enard superimposes vital contemporary issues on a Rabelaisian depiction of France’s eternal appetite for hedonism
- Over 50,000 copies in print