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  • 9781910477779_fc
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Publication date
26th March 2020


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A Long Way Off

(Le Grand Loin)



An impromptu road trip takes ever stranger turns in this final book from Pascal Garnier, published shortly before his death.

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Marc dreams of going somewhere far, far away – but he’ll start by taking his cat and his grown-up daughter, Anne, to an out-of-season resort on the Channel.

Reluctant to go home, the curious threesome head south for Agen, whose main claim to fame is its prunes. As their impromptu road trip takes ever stranger turns, the trail of destruction – and mysterious disappearances – mounts up in their wake.

Shocking, hilarious and poignant, this final book from Pascal Garnier, published shortly before his death, is the author on top form.

Runner Up for The Scott Moncrieff Prize 2021
‘Shifting from psychological thriller to absurd road trip tinged with black humor, A Long Way Off is the odyssey of an anti-hero’ – France-Amérique
‘Rich and abundant in dark comedy’ – Strong Words Magazine
‘Taut, unsettling . . . a vein of wild humor runs through the gray’ New York Times Book Review
‘Plays out like an existential fever dream’ Wall Street Journal
‘He manages to top himself just when you think things can’t get more outrageous . . . Yet another disturbingly enjoyable Garnier novel’ Complete Review
‘Expect the unexpected in this darkly comic truly outrageous road trip, a journey into the abyss . . . A Long Way Off is a glorious flight of fancy, a descent into a nightmare and it’s damned funny’ NB
‘This is Noir with a capital ‘N’ as Pascal Garnier shows how it should be done’ The Book Magnet
‘This tiny little gem of a novel . . . is a mind-blowing masterpiece’ Bookgasm
Praise for Pascal Garnier
‘One of the most remarkable and, in the English-speaking world at least, one of the most inexplicably underappreciated French writers of the twentieth century’ John Banville, New York Review of Books
‘Garnier plunges you into a bizarre, overheated world, seething death, writing, fictions and philosophy. He’s a trippy, sleazy, sly and classy read’ A. L. Kennedy
‘The final descent into violence is worthy of J G Ballard. 4 stars’ The Independent
‘Combines a sense of the surreal with a ruthless wit’ The Observer
‘Reminiscent of Joe Orton and the more impish films of Alfred Hitchcock and Claude Chabrol’ Sunday Times
‘Tense, strange, disconcerting and slyly funny’ Sunday Times
‘A brilliant exercise in grim and gripping irony, it makes you grin as well as wince’ Sunday Telegraph
‘The combination of sudden violence, surreal touches and bone-dry humour have led to Garnier’s work being compared with the films of Tarantino and the Coen brothers’ Sunday Times
‘A mixture of Albert Camus and JG Ballard’ FT
‘Bleak, often funny and never predictable’ The Observer
‘A jeu d’esprit of hard-boiled symbolism, with echoes of Raymond Chandler, T.S. Eliot and the Marx Brothers’ Wall Street Journal
Featured in the Independent‘s ‘Crème de la Crime’
‘A master of the surreal noir thriller – Luis Buñuel meets Georges Simenon’ TLS
‘A perfectly balanced cross between a thriller and a social document’ L’Express
‘Deliciously dark … painfully funny’ New York Times
‘A guaranteed grisly thriller’ ShortList
‘Arch and lyrical … a funny and outlandish story’ Crime Thriller Fella
‘Garnier’s main theme – the banality of a bourgeois existence – is a common one, although never, in my experience, has it been dealt with so succinctly … a clever piece of literary noir’ Killing Time Crime
‘Garnier’s books are marked by their integration of strange characters into their French provincial settings as evinced by The Panda Theory and How’s The Pain? and always retain at their heart a sense of human frailty, despite the blackness of the humour and at times horrific events. Combining the style of Simenon with the visual imagination and humour of the Coen Brothers, there is much to recommend these novellas. They are small works of literary genius, and I would urge you to discover them for yourselves.’ Ravencrime
‘If you appreciate Georges Simenon’s romans durs, i.e. his harder, edgier novels, Garnier is your boy … He routinely tosses off penetrating philosophical truths like they’re afterthoughts, as the French do so well. There’s dark humor in these short novels, lots of apparently arbitrary brutality that’s all the more chilling due to its seeming randomness, colorful characters, and some lines and passages that hit such a deep place, you just have to put the book down and reflect for a while after reading them.’ Criminal Element blog
‘Brief, brisk, ruthlessly entertaining … Garnier makes bleakness pleasurable’ John Powers, National Public Radio

Emily Boyce is a translator and editor. Her translation of A Long Way Off by Pascal Garnier was runner up for the 2021 Scott Moncrieff Prize.

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