Literature - Ubiquitous in the Alps
We love to read! In this section we will introduce you on a monthly basis to different novels, criminal stories, fairy tales, short stories or any other literaturary style, which take place or were written in the Alps. We will try to give you a broad overview of renown authors as well as newcomers and contemporary writers. And we will mention which of these books are suitable as a companion to your next trip to the Alps.
Seeking Whom He May DevourVargas, Fred: Seeking Whom He May Devour
original title: L'homme à l'envers. 1999
This is the second crime story from the series "Adamsberg" (No. 1 is "L'Homme aux cercles bleus," this novel has not yet been translated into English, but later Adamsberg novels are available in englisch translation). Camille Forrestier, musician, composer and plumber, lives in Saint-Victor-du-Mont in the Mercantour National Park, in the French Maritime Alps (Départements Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).
There she lives with the Canadian Donald Lawrence Johnstone. He is urpsprünglich researcher of grizzly bears and film maker. He went to France to film the wolves who have settled in the Mercantour area. Saint Victor is an idyllic village in the French mountains, near the Italian border. Only the upcoming extension of Lawrence's visa seems to trouble their happiness. But then it comes to attacks on flocks of sheep, ewes are killed. The animals show traces of large bites, they were murdered not eaten. Were it the wolves from the Mercantour? A large dog? And does not take long before the first human victims appear. Just who is the perpetrator? An animal? A human? A mixture of the two?
And so, this novel is also a road movie, in a sheep transporter, across the French Alps, to Grenoble until close to Paris. An exciting thriller, or maybe crime mystery, difficult to stop reading. A perfect book to devour in one warm summer night. A wonderful track is designed, with interesting characters. The resolution ties wonderfully all loose narrative strands togehter. Would that be an American novel the end would be a a show-down, but it is a French thriller with savoir-vivre, lanolin and L'Amour.
Fred Vargas is a pseudonym, partly borrowed from the family, because the twin sister, a painter, already uses Jo Vargas. Fred Vargas, born in 1957, in real life historian and archaeologist specializing in the Middle Ages, living in Paris. She is daughter of a culturejournalist and sister of a historian. For over 20 years she has been writing in her spare time and her crime stories are very successful. Her novels have been translated into more than 30 languages. She has won numerous awards and nominations for her detective stories and two novels were filmed.
Is this suitable reading for a trip o France? If you love thrillers, absolutely yes, you learn a lot about the remote Mercantour area, about sheep and wolves, the French Alps. If you are anxious by nature and usually lock doors twice, read the book after your visit to France. Otherwise it could be that you won't be that relaxed when camping, hiking and it will spoil the idyllic landscape, especially at night, when one of the wild wolves is howling. Following the route of the road movie is nearly impossible as most of the village names were invented. Mercantour on the Italian border, Digne, Avignon, and Grenoble are very real, but Saint Victor, Ventebrune, Fortpierre, Mont Vence, Andelle, Anélias, Guillos and La Castille are fictitious and are synonym of the larger and smaller villages in the Mercantour National Park.
This is a thrilling, chilly and sometimes even sweet detective story taking place in summer in the French departments Alpes-Maritime and Haut-Provence.
To be fit for you vacations into Alpine France, you might want to adapt a cow-style, to be not mistaken for a sheep and be subject to hungry wolves or even mistaken for a wild life animal and be afraid of hunters:
> go for our black and white handbag with cow printing
> learn how cows look like with our cow memory game
> strengthen yourself with fresh milk and some delicious drinking choloclate or café for a yummy latte macchiato in the beautiful porcelain cow mugs