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Fairy Gunmother [Paperback]

Daniel Pennac
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Jun 1998
A policeman on a mission of mercy is shot dead at point-blank range by a sweet old granny on a frosty morning. The neighbourhood, Paris's bubbling Belleville quarter, is already in uproar because half a dozen other grannies have been found with their shrivelled throats slit. Into this tense situation stumbles Benjamin Malaussène with an overly complicated life that includes his voluptuous red-haired girlfriend, Julie, and his smelly epileptic dog, Julius. Maniacally inventive - some have called it deranged - Pennac's creations in The Fairy Gunmother have achieved cult status all over Europe.


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New e. edition (18 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860464459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860464454
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"These are...classic page-turners, in which the loyalty and decency of ordinary (and not so ordinary) people contrive to vanquish villains and tyrants" (Ruth Morse Times Literary Supplement)

"Already a bestseller in its native country, it deserves to be one here if there's any justice in the world of crime" (Maxim Jakubowski Time Out)

"There is only profit and pleasure to be had in this wise, good-humoured, funny book" (David Coward Times Literary Supplement)

"A crime novel in a class of its own, you'll laugh till you cry" (Bertrand Audusse Le Monde)

Book Description

A gloriously comic tale of blunder and disguise, set in the vibrant Parisian quarter of Belleville.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nonsensical, weird, utterly brilliant 25 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It should not work, but it does. And how. Managing to capture a France rarely put on show, a Paris of ethnic diversity not of chic gallic charm, and coincidentally a detective story (of sorts), this tour de force juggles wit with moral dilemmas, belly laughs with social observation. A novel to leap into, and from which you will rise feeling disappointed only that there is not more at the end. I bought it because I liked the cover. Shame. It should be being bought by the truckload even if its cover were dull grey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most uproarious French import since "Diva"! 15 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Under cover cops, pistol-packing old ladies, and a "depontated" girlfriend combine to make life difficult for Benjamin Malaussene, literary director and professional scapegoat! This is the second novel in Pennac's "Belleville Quartet", and a vast improvement over the first, "The Scapegoat". (Afterwards, why not check out the third book in the series, "Write To Kill", which reads like a house afire after a slow beginning!) One of my favorite books this year!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious High Jinks in Belleville Paris 27 Jun 2009
By Feanor
Format:Paperback
I zipped through the very delightful The Fairy Gunmother. Set in Belleville, a district of Paris where drug-runners and muggers and deliciously human characters all dwell, it is the second of a quartet of ironic and merry novels by Daniel Pennac. Ably translated by Ian Monk, this one deals with old women who go around murdering policemen and other old women, and has a voluptuous investigative journalist who is the beloved of a literary scapegoat (a chap who is hired to stand around looking depressed and thus deflect the fury of disgruntled authors who come to their publisher to vent and complain) with a fecund mother and many siblings, and a strangely empathetic policeman who manages to extract confessions from even the most hardened criminals, and a hearty Yugoslav who drives old ladies around historically important parts of the country, and drug-addled grandfathers who are taken in and cared for by the scapegoat's family. What a novel! It hums along at frantic pace, filled with lovely wordplay and clever mots and a joie-de-vivre. Several thumbs way, way up.
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