Does anyone know Timothée de Fombelle and Toby Alone ? This is one of the few French authors that managed to have a real international success !
Timothée De Fombelle was born in 1973. He has worked in theatre for a long time and has only started writing in the 2000's.
His first novel was published in 2003 by Gallimard and in 2009 and 2010 in English (Candlewick Press, 2 volumes). He has 2 other novels published in French : Celeste, ma planète (2009) and Vango (2010). I don't know when (or if) they will be translated.
Synopsis for Toby Alone :
Toby and his family are 2 millimeters high and their entire civilization lives in a big tree. Toby has a very happy childhood with his parents, until his father, a brilliant scientist, refuses to give away his last invention to the powerful Tree Council. This refusal will shatter their lives, and ultimately it will force Toby to run away and try to understand what is happening all over the Tree ...
The author succeeded in created a very rich and original universe while still being close to our world with humanity having the same faults and qualities. It's a wonderful ecological fable (the hole in the Tree layer ! ) but also a thrilling adventure novel !
We start in media res (Toby is already running away) and we discover his universe little by little with flashbacks. There are very few pauses in the story, the rhythm is quite breath-taking (I read the 2 volumes in less than 3 days !). This novel has got universal themes : fear of the other, greed, ordinary cowardice and the fact that it is so easy to follow others without thinking, resisting to tyranny ...
There are also a lot of characters that we can see evolve over a significant period of time and who can be complex.
The first volume has an atmosphere and rhythm close to The Fugitive but the universe is still rich and complex ! The author is really talented ! Moreover, the translation is apparently really good as well : it won an award in 2009 !
Has anyone read it ?
A little preview for Vango : I loved it even more than Tobie Alone !
The novel is set in the 30's just before World War 2 with quite a few historical characters ! The context is really interesting, the characters (real or invented) really well-built and the story is once more full of suspense and mystery !
Share your feedbacks regarding your last readings.
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