This is quite an extraordinary little book. It concerns a small boy who is uneasy about his father, a schoolteacher, who devotes his spare time to dressing up and performing, rather badly, as a clown. The child's puzzlement is noticed by his uncle Gaston who one day sits him down to explain his father's behaviour. This behaviour is linked to the opening few pages about the trial of Maurice Papon who was tried and convicted for crimes against humanity during WW2 in Vichy France.
The book poses questions about identity, tragedy, comedy, morality, hope and despair. For such a short book it packs in a lot of issues for the reader to think about.
One point which might prove bothersome for readers whose first language is not French: there is quite a lot of patois and slang not found in a standard French dictionary, so this can make it quite a difficult read. But it's well worth the effort!
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