Book Review: The Eskimo Solution, by Pascal Garnier

Publisher:  Gallic Books

(Please note that Gallic Books will merge Twitter accounts with Belgravia Books from 19th September 2016.)

Publication date:  12th September 2016

The Eskimo Solution MY REVIEW

The Eskimo Solution by Pascal GarnierThis is my third Pascal Garnier experience and I cannot quite believe how unique they all are! These short ‘life parodies’ pluck the dark trains of thought that run through the mind of ordinary folk to create a bizarrely addictive and screwball read.

Firstly, why the title? Well, as loosely described in the book, The Eskimo Solution is a way of disposing of elderly relatives by leaving them out on the ice to expire before they become a burden on their families. An effective, if somewhat, mercenary way of solving a problem I grant you, but this is the basis for the tale.

The anonymous narrator of this story has created a character in a crime novel he’s writing who bumps off people’s relatives and allow them to inherit early, rather than allow nature to take its course.  As things progress you begin to wonder where Louis, the fictional serial killer, ends and the narrator begins. The traits of the unnamed author and his creation’s traits start to resemble each other so closely that is difficult to separate them at times.

They both have trouble with their relationships, each have creative outlets, and are struggling to tell people what they really think causing them to react in unexpected ways. Only one doesn’t resort to severe criminal activity to clear the air, although I strongly suspect that given the right set of circumstances he wouldn’t take much persuading.

Everyday absurdities allow the writer’s sharp wit and some cracking one liners to shine, as once again he projects his keen observation of situations onto the page. They often they incorporate maiming, murder, and something that’s gone very, very wrong with someone’s personality. These warped versions of ordinary life are so fresh and intriguing that they appear almost freestyle, like there was little planning at all – and I mean that in a good way!

While the circumstances of these thoroughly individual books appear run-of-the-mill on the surface, there’s always something disconcerting waiting to break through. The writing spins the mundane around so it points in an unsuspecting direction entirely.

I’m never quite sure where the next Pascal Garnier experience is going to take me and for this ‘surprise element’ I’d be more than happy to read another one tomorrow.

Rating:  4/5

My reviews for other Pascal Garnier titles:

Too Close to the Edge

The Front Seat Passenger

(I received an invitation to provide an unbiased review for this title from the publisher via NetGalley, and I was delighted to oblige. My thanks sincere to them.)

The Eskimo Solution BOOK SUMMARY

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Life imitates art in Pascal Garnier’s offbeat tale of a crime writer and the murderous protagonist of his novel.

A crime writer uses the modest advance on his latest novel to rent a house on the Normandy coast. There should be little to distract him from his work besides walks on the windswept beach, but as he begins to tell the tale of forty-something Louis who, after dispatching his own mother, goes on to relieve others of their burdensome elderly relations events in his own life begin to overlap with the work of his imagination.

Emily Boyce (Translator) (Author), Jane Aitken (Translator) (Author)


The Eskimo Solution AUTHOR PROFILE

(Courtesy of publisher’s website)

Pascal Garnier, who died in March 2010, was a talented novelist, short story writer, children’s author and painter. From his home in the mountains of the Ardèche, he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life. Though his writing is often very dark in tone, it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry wit. Garnier’s work has been likened to the great thriller writer, Georges Simenon.

Gallic Books published the second of Garnier’s novels, ‘How’s the Pain?’. ‘The Panda Theory’ was published in March 2012 and described by The Guardian as ‘bleak, often funny, and never predictable’. The A26 followed in January 2013.

Find out more about this author and his work from the PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE .


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