Where I Left My Soul Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012
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'shocking and perversely beautiful morality play' Irish Times.
'it invites questions that can have only uncomfortable answers' The Scotsman.
'the story has a doomy propulsion, with its elegant flashbacks and adumbrations, vivid, economical scene-setting, and fascinating relationships at its heart ... blackly brilliant' Guardian.
'The most powerful novel I have read this year' Michael Holroyd.
'A powerful short novel, taking us from Buchenwald and Vietnam to Algeria, and leading to the conclusion that those who suffer go on to cause most suffering' New Statesman.
'This examination of the corrosive effect of torture as practised by officers of the French army during the Algerian war is brilliantly and movingly done' Allan Massie.
'an unsparing examination of how violence begets violence' The Independent.
'As elegant as a knife blade and as deadly, this shocking and magnificent novella explores the evil men do' Irish Times.
'uncomfortable and illuminating' Financial Times.
From the Inside Flap
He was interned at Buchenwald during the German occupation and imprisoned by the Vietnamese when France's armies in the Far East collapsed. Now Capitaine Degorce is an interrogator himself, and the only peace he can find is in the presence of Tahar, a captive commander in the very organization the is charged with eliminating. But his confessor is no saint: Tahar stands accused of indiscriminate murder. Lieutenant Andreani - who served with Degorce in Vietnam and revels in his new role as executioner - is determined to see a noose around his neck. This is Algeria, 1957. Blood, sand, dust, heat - perhaps the bitterest colonial conflict of the last century. Degorce will learn that in times of war, no matter what a man has suffered in his past, there is no limit to the cruelty he is capable of.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It deserves a wide readership. I hope you find it as significant and inspiring as I did.
Lieutenant Andreanni equates his own horrific experiences to the interrogation and torture after the capture of the leader of the Algerian rebels, Tahar. He takes this task as some sort of routine procedure to a captured enemy. His colleague Capitaine Degroce, his fellow captive now torturer follows the book of 'extreme interrogation' until he begins to ask questions of himself and the morality of his actions. This leads to discussions and differences of opinion between Andreanni and Degroce as to the reasoning of the methodical degradation of Tahar.
There is an inevitable conflict that arises beteween the two, with recollections and flash-back experiences to their own captivity and inhumane treatment and what it achieved now that they are replaying a role-reversal on Tahar. The relationship becomes more complex as Degorce finds solace and sympathy for Tahar whereas Andreanni, having a close relationship with Degorce, continues on the malicious, sadistic road of victim interrogation as the way it should be. As Tahar states 'a martyr is a thousand times more useful than a fighter'. Retention, detention and torture are still widespread. Ferrari portrays a diverse view of the mix of inhumane and compassion that befalls the perpetrators of these evil deeds with their associated inner motives and doubts.
A captivating and horrifying insight of captivity, 'interrogation', and torture. It hardly needs me to say that these trials and tribulations persist throughout 'civilisation'. An unforgettable read.
Where I Left My Soul is a profound insight into the world of the torturer and the cost to the individual of inhabiting such a place.
It is a rare privilege to read such a disturbing haunting masterpiece, such a raw fragment of the human soul.