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The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

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The Ninth Life of Louis Drax Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Louis Drax is a boy like no other. He is brilliant and strange, and every year something violent seems to happen to him. On his ninth birthday, Louis goes on a picnic with his parents and falls off a cliff. The details are shrouded in mystery. Louiss mother is shell-shocked; his father has vanished. And after some confusion Louis himself, miraculously alive but deep in a coma, arrives at Dr. Pascal Dannachets celebrated coma clinic…Full of astonishing twists and turns, this is a masterful tale of the secrets the human mind can hide.

Liz Jensen is the acclaimed author of four novels, including War Crimes for the Home. She lives in London.
The hero of this novel, Louis Drax, is a boy like no other. He is brilliant and odd, and every year something violent seems to happen to him. He has always managed to survive—to land on his feet, like a cat. But cats have only nine lives, and Louis has used up eight thus far.

On his ninth birthday, Louis goes on a picnic with his parents and falls off a cliff. The details are shrouded in mystery. Louis's mother is shell-shocked; his father has vanished. And after some confusion Louis himself, miraculously alive but deep in a coma, arrives at Dr. Pascal Dannachet's celebrated coma clinic.

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax is the story of a family falling apart, told in the vivid voices of its comatose son and Dr. Dannachet as he is drawn into the Draxes' circle. Full of astonishing twists and turns, this is a masterful tale of the secrets the human mind can hide.

"Wonderfully strange . . . An affecting psychological novel about transgression and the mysteries of the subconscious."—People

"A gripping and intelligent psychological thriller filled with crafty insights, black humor and grim twists . . . Fresh and original."—Miami Herald

"If you prefer fiction that makes you jump out of your skin, run—do not walk—to the nearest copy of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax . . . Part psychological mystery, part paranormal suspense, and 100 percent unique."—Santa Cruz Sentinel

"Liz Jensen has written a remarkable suspense novel: tart, mysterious, and wrenching."—Anthony Minghella, director of The English Patient and Cold Mountain

"Wonderfully unsettling . . . an oddly beautiful journey into the darkest corners of the human soul."—Mail on Sunday

"A gripping psychological thriller with a Gothic flavor . . . her tautest novel to date. Its unputdownable quality and its creation of a convincing voice for a 'disturbed' child (as Louis proudly describes himself) are reminiscent of mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It deserves similar success."—Sunday Telegraph

"Liz Jensen has created an extraordinary character in the shape of Louis Drax . . . A magnetic read that will delight and disturb in equal measures."—Daily Mail

"Louis Drax isn't like other children. The morbidly imaginative and sharply intuitive boy from a provincial city in France has survived eight suspicious accidents, one for each year of his life. On his ninth birthday, Louis suffers a mysterious fall from a cliff and ends up in Dr. Pascal Dannachet's experimental coma clinic, where the truth of his most recent mishap will be revealed. So begins British novelist Jensen's fourth book, a fiercely intelligent psychological thriller told from the alternating perspectives of the comatose Louis and the professionally conflicted Dr. Dannachet. As the French police search for Pierre Drax, the prime suspect in his son's fall, Louis negotiates the unconscious world with Gustave, his grotesque, bandaged imaginary companion, and Dr. Dannachet reluctantly falls in love with Louis's mother, Natalie. Behind the many twists and turns that ensue is a multilayered, genuinely convincing emotional drama that adds substance to the suspense. Families are torn apart, scientists are confounded by the miraculous, and the human heart unleashes its many secrets. Jensen's gift for black humor and off-kilter narratives shines throughout this page-turner, and her understanding of fractured psyches and their ability to heal is remarkable. The idiosyncrasies of her peculiar characters only make them more engaging, and at the end of Jensen's gripping tale, the reader is left eager for more."—Library Journal

"For everybody who thought they'd never see another novel like The Lovely Bones, a neurologist in Provence struggles to get a comatose nine-year-old to tell what put him into a persistent vegetative state. Precociously acerbic Louis Drax has always been accident-prone. The Caesarian section that gave him birth nearly killed his mother. He's survived food poisoning, salmonella, tetanus, botulism, and meningitis. Louis's luck seems to run out on the day his estranged parents reunite long enough to take him to the Auvergne to celebrate his ninth birthday. Their picnic ends when Louis tumbles over a cliff and drowns in the river below while Pierre Drax runs away. But Louis hasn't really drowned, as an alert morgue attendant notices that night. For months after his return from the dead, Louis improves until a seizure sends him to the care of Dr. Pascal Dannachot, of the Clinique de l'Horizon, formerly l'Hopital des Incurables, and it's here that British novelist Jensen, letting Louis and Dannachot take turns telling the story, heats things up. Dannachot's unorthodox therapies don't succeed in enticing Louis out of his coma, but his probe of Louis's last day releases a torrent of dark secrets about Pierre and Natalie Drax. And as Louis, who has no intention of returning to a world of bickering parents and mocking schoolmates, enjoys the balm of new friendship with Gustave, the spectral figure who welcomes him to his ninth life, the intimacy the unsuspecting doctor seeks with both his young patient and the boy's inconsolable mother turns toxic. A series of letters ostensibly written by the comatose boy accuses Dannachot of designs on Natalie Drax and warns of dire developments—though few readers will imagine the calamities still to come. By turns disarmingly comical, absorbingly suspenseful, and finally shattering."—Kirkus Reviews (starred Review)

Synopsis:

Meet Louis Drax, the Amazing Accident-Prone Boy, in this story of a family falling apart--and told in the vivid voices of its comatose son and of medical specialist Dr. Pascal Dannachet.

Synopsis:

Louis Drax is a boy like no other. He is brilliant and strange, and every year something violent seems to happen to him. On his ninth birthday, Louis goes on a picnic with his parents and falls off a cliff. The details are shrouded in mystery. Louis's mother is shell-shocked; his father has vanished. And after some confusion Louis himself, miraculously alive but deep in a coma, arrives at Dr. Pascal Dannachet's celebrated coma clinic...Full of astonishing twists and turns, this is a masterful tale of the secrets the human mind can hide.

About the Author

Liz Jensen is the acclaimed author of four other novels, most recently War Crimes for the Home. She lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582344577
Author:
Jensen, Liz
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Hospital patients
Subject:
Physicians
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Coma
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Accident victims
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series Volume:
no. 10199
Publication Date:
20060110
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582344577 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Meet Louis Drax, the Amazing Accident-Prone Boy, in this story of a family falling apart--and told in the vivid voices of its comatose son and of medical specialist Dr. Pascal Dannachet.
"Synopsis" by ,
Louis Drax is a boy like no other. He is brilliant and strange, and every year something violent seems to happen to him. On his ninth birthday, Louis goes on a picnic with his parents and falls off a cliff. The details are shrouded in mystery. Louis's mother is shell-shocked; his father has vanished. And after some confusion Louis himself, miraculously alive but deep in a coma, arrives at Dr. Pascal Dannachet's celebrated coma clinic...Full of astonishing twists and turns, this is a masterful tale of the secrets the human mind can hide.

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