The Ninth Life of Louis Drax Paperback – 4 Apr 2005
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A wonderfully unsettling psychological thriller
An oddly beautiful journey into the darkest corners of the human soul -- Mail on Sunday
Cunning and compelling brilliant -- Daily Mirror
Emotionally compelling, morally fascinating breathtaking. It has more suspense than many thrillers -- Independent on Sunday
Extraordinary a magnetic read that will delight and disturb -- Daily Mail
Shocking, moving and beautifully written, it is an extraordinary novel about family mystery and medical marvels -- Image
NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING JAMIE DORNAN AND AARON PAUL --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This one is a wonderful little mystery, with an unusual plot, very skilfully and patiently constructed, with each short section adding on a little bit to the suspence and building up all the way to the final sections, all contributing to a most unexpected ending and a brilliantly realised climax.
Louis is a precocious nine-year old boy, who is accident-prone. While picnicking with his parents, he suffers a near-fatal accident by falling off a cliff into a ravine and goes into a deep coma. Taken to a special clinic in Provence, France, he is looked after by Dr Dannachet, who tries to bring Louis back to health, but the challenges , including those intrinsic to the patient's own dream-like state, and those emanating from others in the external environment , are daunting , and there is absolutely no time to spare.
The first fifty pages or so of the narration could prove to be abit of a struggle for some "impatient" readers, like myself , but one should persevere with the unfolding story as the pace soon picks up and the book truly becomes difficult to put down after a little while.
This book covers a multitude of themes, from the nature of parental love and a child's bonds and relationships with his parents, states of consciousness, the capacity of the human brain and the human heart, the soul, free will and determinism and more. All of this is against a context of very well-drawn characters and a wonderfully authentic atmosphere of a time of heat and forest fires in France.
The way that the author uses - rather than " to designate speech (and other forms of communication) needs getting used to, but it is clear that there is a good reason for this device.
The sections written in Louis' voice are exceptional - the child is angel and devil in one, but human above all.
I will be looking out for other books by this author.
In the hands of film director Anthony Minghella I expect Louis Drax will become a thought-provoking movie.
The novel is beautifully written, although flawed by the occasionally clunky phrase. And Dr. Dannachet's infactuation with Louis' young mother seems a little forced, sudden even. Small gripes, however; the story is a cracker, and masterfully told. There is a wonderfully spooky mood throughout, and a palpable sense of dread for the characters. Although the revelations at the end are quite obvious even before Dr. Dannachet begins his furtive investigations, the climax is still deliciously horrifying. As with The Virgin Suicides, my suspicions did not prepare me for the end of the story. Louis' dream state is wonderfully evoked, and sickeningly disturbing, and the book features one of the most memorable villains of 21st Century literature so far!
Highly recommended; it's not often I come across a read such as this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was interesting but fairly predictable. Will still see the film though.Published 1 month ago by GECKO 5
A bit of a slow start, but I'm glad I persevered. I actually enjoyed it.
An unusual story with a few twists.
This book held my attention from page one. A mother is supposed to love her child unconditionally not putting herself first every time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by gwenstewart
A fantastic psychological thriller, brilliant high quality writing. Highly recommended.Published 7 months ago by SL
Interestingly different to my usual book of choice. Was a bit awkward to follow and found myself having to re read a few chapters to read get. to understand the storyline. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Stewart Sinclair