By a Slow River More Camus than Simenon, Philippe Claudel's wrenching French mystery, By a Slow River , unfolds during and immediately after World War I, when a young… By a Slow River More Camus than Simenon, Philippe Claudel's wrenching French mystery, By a Slow River , unfolds during and immediately after World War I, when a young… 2006-06-13 Fiction Mystery and Thriller Knopf
Book Review

By a Slow River (2006)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jun 13, 2006; Writer: Philippe Claudel; Genres: Fiction, Mystery and Thriller; Publisher: Knopf

More Camus than Simenon, Philippe Claudel's wrenching French mystery, By a Slow River, unfolds during and immediately after World War I, when a young girl is strangled and dumped in a rural canal. A village policeman recounts the bleak stories of everyone involved, looping back and forth through time to convey his Tragic View of Life. There's the icy lawyer, doomed to solitude after his wife's premature death; the corrupt and piggish judge, who gobbles boiled eggs while examining the corpse; the pretty schoolteacher, who unaccountably hangs herself. But the real subject, we gradually learn, is the narrator himself, whose perspective comes violently into question with the book's grim final twists.

Originally posted Jun 09, 2006 Published in issue #882 Jun 16, 2006 Order article reprints
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