Author(s): Jean-Claude Izzo
Rico has been banished to society's margins; he has neither a roof over his head nor a steady income on which to depend. When a friend and fellow clochard dies of exposure after a night spent in the Paris metro, Rico decides to flee the northern cold for his beloved south, for Marseilles and the Mediterranean. From the celebrated author of the Marseilles trilogy, this is both an affecting on-the-road novel and a tender exploration of love's power both to heal and to destroy.
Izzo (1945?2000) returns to Marseille (setting of "Total Chaos" and other of his books) with a bleak, affecting tale about a man on the skids, despairing of love's ability to heal. Rico, the 40-something, hard-drinking transient protagonist, still smarts from a breakup in Rennes with his beautiful, avaricious wife, Sophie. Living on the streets of Paris when his down-and-out friend, Tito, dies curled up on the metro train, the grief-stricken Rico decides to return to Marseille, the city where 20 years before, as a recently demobilized marine, he meet his first love, L?a. The novel becomes a kind of desperate road trip (Tito used to tell Rico about Kerouac's On the Road), as Rico bums his way from Paris to Marseille. Abdou, a 13-year-old Algerian refugee boy in search of a father, takes over the narrative when Rico, increasingly ill, beat up and alcoholic, sinks into a state of delusional regret. Izzo's last novel proves riveting and grim. ?"Publisher's Weekly" Starred Review (Augus