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The Ninth Life of Louis Drax Paperback – 4 Apr 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Paperback, 4 Apr 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Reprint edition (4 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747571112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747571117
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘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

Book Description

NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING JAMIE DORNAN AND AARON PAUL --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Last year, I purchased a copy of "The Rapture" because I was quite intrigued by some of the comments on the back cover of the book. It turned out to be a gripping read . Indeed such was the excellent impression left on me by that novel that the other day, when I saw " The Ninth Life Of Louis Drax " being displayed among other books, in a shop window, I immediately picked it up when I saw that it was written by Liz Jensen , the author of the "Rapture".

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very original and gripping psychological thriller about a nine-year-old boy in a coma, his family and the doctor who tries to bring Louis back into a normal state of consciousness.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
A heart-stopping thriller hallmarked by Jensen's powerful and unique style. A friend recommended 'Ark Baby' - a comic tour de force - and I've been a fan of her work ever since. Jensen's versatility makes her a difficult writer to categorise, and I was curious to see how she would approach the thriller genre. This is yet another brilliant book; subtle, ingenious and beautifully written. The narrative fizzes and crackles with the customary energy of Jensen's prose. The story of accident-prone Louis Drax, and Dannachet, the doctor who looks after him, had me in its grip from the first paragraph to the last with many unexpected detours, blind alleys, and twists. It's difficult to reveal much about the book without unravelling a sophisticated and complex plot, so I won't, but this is the most tense and exciting thriller I've read in a long, long, time. What makes this book stand out is the sheer quality of the writing, the powerful, sinister atmosphere, and the fascinating characters. Jensen has a gift for voice and the dual narrative of Drax and Dannachet exploits this to full effect. Her descriptions of the Provencale landscape and the oppressive and turbulent weather reflect the inner turmoil of the characters' lives. It's an unforgettable story with writing of the highest order. And for those who claim 'literary thriller' is a contradiction in terms, here's my advice: READ THIS!
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best literary thrillers I have read. Sparse and atmospheric, Liz Jensen has the nerve to hold suspense longer than most authors, yet at the same time evoke the very real confusion of the human heart. Her concept is one that immediately appeals. A precocious young boy is in a coma after a family cliff top accident. His mother finds the one doctor in France who might have the expertise to cure him, but with the cure will come stories perhaps better left secret.
In the hands of film director Anthony Minghella I expect Louis Drax will become a thought-provoking movie.
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Format: Paperback
I was gripped by this novel, and found it very difficult to put down. An interesting premise; Louis, a precocious nine year old, is entrusted to the care of Dr. Dannachet when a horrific fall sends him into a coma. However, there's more to his story than meets the eye...
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.
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