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The Suicide Shop Paperback – Sep 3 2013
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About the Author
Jean Teule lives in the Marais with his partner, the French film actress Miou-Miou. An illustrator, filmmaker and television presenter, he is also the prize-winning author of ten books including one based on the life of Verlaine. He has also written biographies of Rimbaud and François Villon.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It's really a light and uplifting read about how a positive attitude can affect all aspects of your life, without being "preachy" in any aspect. It just makes you think. It's a quick book and I recommend it to anyone who needs a little pick-me-up.
The story is set some time after North America has been laid to waste by the Big One--but for the most part it could pass as contemporary, with the odd bit of future tech: holographic greeting cards; a solution that turn one's kiss poisonous to others; 3d semi-immersive full-sensory television.
Mishima and Lucrèce Tuvache have three children--two depressed and/or ailing, and the youngest, bright and cherubic. This latter child, Alan, is the force that changes everything.
The chapters are brief, often terse, and the story progresses swiftly--at times a little too swiftly, in that I felt the characters bounced a bit too much in mood and disposition. At the same time, the quick pace kept me turning pages.
I was somewhat disappointed by the direction of the narrative--it's described as a quirky black comedy, but I found it more comedy, verging on slapstick, and less black (until, perhaps, the end). Alan's cheer and undauntable optimism quickly infects the rest of the family (except for Mishima, the father); even suicide commandos are shown to not be able to withstand his barrage of cheerfulness (a favorite quote: "I'll only be demonstrating this to you once!").
Still, it has a definite charm, and if you are perhaps less jaded you might get a real kick out of it throughout. I could easily see it being a cult favorite in the right circles.
No one smiles when they come to the shop, even when they find the perfect-for-them suicide tools.
But then the unthinkable happens. A happy child is born to the Tuvache family and he refuses to step into the darkness and follow his family. He is the oddball in town and an enigma to his family.
This book was almost depressing, as person after person comes into the shop looking for ways to kill themselves. The Tuvaches have an unlimited list of methods to get the job done. And yet, there is Alan's tiny smile and joy that bring light to the shop, much to the chagrin of the family and shoppers.
Can the smile of one boy change his family? His town? Or will he succumb to the doom and gloom?
If you like dark humor, you'll probably like this book. I give The Suicide Shop a rating of Hel-of-a-Twist.
While The Suicide Shop is dark humor, it also has a small ray of sunshine, but like most dark stories, there is always an unexpected twist to the story.
The Suicide Shop is unusual, to say the least. It's an unexpected premise and a situation you'd never think possible. It's meant to be humorous, which it is due to the premise and the reactions of the various family members as they undergo their transformations. It's hard to tell where the story is going, as it doesn't really match anything you can draw on as a frame of reference. Suffice it to say that "ironic" is a word that comes into play.
This is one of those books where I give it an average rating with the caveat "your mileage may vary." It may have been due to the translation (as in having "lost something in"), or the absurdity of it. Perhaps the best way to put it is... it's different.
Obtained From: Publicist