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Au revoir là-haut (BD ADO-ADULTES) (French Edition) - Kindle edition by Pierre Lemaitre, Christian De Metter. Download it once and read it on your Kindle. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Né à Paris, Pierre Lemaitre a enseigné aux adultes Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like Kindle Store; ›; Kindle eBooks; ›; Literature & Fiction. Goodreads on Facebook · Goodreads on Twitter · Goodreads on Instagram · Goodreads on LinkedIn · Download app for iOS Download app for Android.

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Motif de rayure. Avec B: Avec A: The war had barely ended when families of dead soldiers began to demand the right to claim their bodies for reburial.

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Government initiatives were soon put in place to create special cemeteries to which the remains of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers buried in haste near battlefield sites could be transferred. Lemaitre creates a scenario where the person who wins contracts for three of the cemeteries keeps no proper records, and uses cheap undersized coffins and cheap unsupervised labour so that the coffins often contain only partial remains, or are filled with rubble or, worse still, with the bodies of enemy soldiers.

The title of this book, which translates as 'See you in Heaven', and which refers to the farewell cry as soldiers ran into battle, begins to sound more like 'See you in Hell'.

And those images of war cemeteries I've been seeing on tv news these past few days have taken on a different aspect. At around the same time that the war cemeteries were being created, there was a big demand for war memorials as every community in France clamored to erect its own tribute to the dead soldiers.

Two of Lemaitre's characters exploit this situation by persuading people to take out subscriptions towards monuments which they have no intention of ever delivering. This part of the plot is based on a real-life scam that took place in the s. That the graveyard opportunists and the monument scam artists are all ex-soldiers is only one of the ironies of this multi-stranded story. One of the opportunists is in fact the officer who sacrificed his men for glory in the beginning of the novel, another, the soldier who was horrifically mutilated in that very same skirmish, and the third, a man who was very nearly counted among the buried himself.

But the greatest irony of all is that, although much is made of the fact that the mutilated character can no longer smile or laugh, I smiled and sniggered all the way through these potentially tragic and painful scenarios.

I'm left with the impression that Lemaitre himself is a bit of a scam artist. Instead of the fitting tribute to Armistice day I thought I'd bought, he sold me short with this slick irreverent page-turner of a farce. Don't you just have to admire a trickster as skillful as that!

Apr 19, Yves Gounin rated it it was amazing. L'a-t-il fait avec un poil u? This novel takes place over three years: As befitting a book which deals with the aftermath of WWI, this begins in the trenches.

War is almost over and the soldiers of the rd Infantry Division are, frankly, not keen to take part in a proposed offensive to cross the Meuse.

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The outrage spills into an escalation of violence and, two days before the end of the war, Pradelle gets his offensive. When soldier, Albert Maillard comes across the bodies of the two soldiers though, he suspects all is not what it seems and Pradelle notices his interest On the battlefield, it seems as though Albert will not gain his wish to return home, but his life is saved by Edouard Pericourt, a talented artist from a wealthy family.

Despite the fact that both men survive, this event has massive repercussions for both of them. I have read many books about the first world war, but not many about the immediate aftermath of war and I actually cannot recall reading one set in France.

This perfectly captures the deep distress of a society attempting to cope after this momentous event; of how so many returning servicemen were viewed and of how they struggled to pick up the pieces of their lives.


Before the war, Albert had a job and a girlfriend, but now he finds that, although he has left the trenches, he is unable to find his way back to normality. What is worse, Pradelle — who Albert fears — has become a success and his social climbing is combined with financial gain, through some rather unscrupulous mean.

That is, until Edouard comes up with a plan that has the capacity to become an impending national scandal. I have not read the crime novels by this extremely talented author, but I really enjoyed this book , which is populated by a great cast of characters. Not just the slightly sinister Pradelle, the weary, gentle kindness of Albert and the artistic and personal flamboyance of Edouard, cruelly destroyed by a single moment; but of the others that help flesh out the storyline.

The plot is intricate, involved and will carry you along until the end. A very enjoyable book, which will have a lot to offer reading groups, as it has so much to discuss, as well as being a very interesting personal read.

View 1 comment. Mohammad Ranjbari Rojita wrote: May 19, Roger Brunyate rated it it was amazing Shelves: To their graves again Those who thought that this war would be over quickly are all dead. Of the war, of course. Early November, ; what a marvelous opening!

This massive novel, winner of the Prix Goncourt for , has all the makings of a popular success. But it is also a mighty good story by any account, that starts in the trenches of WW1 and changes into a fascinating tale of crime and corruption, with a nail-biting finish. It will surely be a best-seller in translation, and I can already imagine the Hollywood movie or BBC miniseries. However, I find it hard to gauge its literary value; it is a very different animal from the works of previous Goncourt winners such as Michel Houellebecq, Marie N'Diaye, or Jean Echenoz.

The set-up is simple. Their recovery is hindered by Lieutenant Henri d'Aulnay-Pradelle, who sets up the attack to seize his last chance at promotion, killing some of his own men to further his own heroic legend; he is a made-for-the-movies villain, handsome, ubiquitous, and utterly detestable.

After pages, the action moves forward by a year. He becomes a postwar profiteer, contracting with the government to disinter the bodies of soldiers from their battlefield graves and rebury them in large official cemeteries.

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But he is greedy, and cuts corners. The author cites several articles suggesting that something of this kind was an actual scandal in the years following the War. Certainly, he has a remarkable knowledge of French bureaucracy, and a perfect ear for how the rich use their status to manipulate those less powerful. I am in awe at Lemaitre's skill at plotting. He has a way of presenting plot twists as faits accomplis , and only then going back to explain how they came about.

He is brilliant at building a climax.


Morally, the book is more challenging. I found myself liking quite a few of the characters, but approving of none of them.

But none of the characters are without bad traits, and even our heroes engage in deceptive, if not downright criminal, behavior. The back cover calls the novel a "fresco of a rare cruelty," and there is certainly a quality of violence to the writing, that almost revels in injury, insult, and degradation not to mention decomposing bodies as though this were a 19th-century melodrama seen through the lens of an R-rated film-maker.

Hence, I think, my difficulty in finding a context within which to rate this. Its subject is early 20th-century, and Lemaitre mentions a couple of novels from the period that influenced him.

But for me, the overriding sensation was of reading a novel from the 19th century. The obvious comparison is with Balzac's Le Colonel Chabert , also about a soldier buried alive who finds it difficult to return to civil life. In any case, the kind of novel they don't write any more—or write, if they do, to sell in airports rather than enter for prizes.

And yet I was always conscious of this being a 21st-century product, for its attitudes, its authorial voice, and not least for its language that kept me going to the online dictionary, looking up presumably slang words that as often or not I could not find. I feel I cannot possibly give it less than five stars, but part of me wonders how much of this is due to the undertaking of reading it in French. When it becomes a best-seller in English, will it seem then merely another blockbuster historical novel, or truly a prizewinner, something exceptional?

Au revoir là-haut

We shall see. Much of my difficulty with context probably stems from the fact that the book is written simultaneously in two registers, the literary and the popular, which often jostle one another within the bounds of a single sentence. It is a kind of sampling technique that could really only be done in the postmodern era, even though the story goes back a century, and the idea of the grand novel a century before that.

Secondly, it is a book that changes its colors as it progresses. The opening pages have a philosophical depth, psychological perception, and richness of style which does not at all conflict with the Prix Goncourt world.