The Great Swindle
2017 Longlist

The Great Swindle

Translated from the original French by Frank Wynne
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

October 1918: the war on the Western Front is all but over. Desperate for one last chance of promotion, the ambitious Lieutenant Henri d’Aulnay Pradelle sends two scouts over the top, and secretly shoots them in the back to incite his men to heroic action once more.

And so is set in motion a series of devastating events that will inextricably bind together the fates and fortunes of Pradelle and the two soldiers who witness his crime: Albert Maillard and Édouard Péricourt.

Back in civilian life, Albert and Édouard struggle to adjust to a society whose reverence for its dead cannot quite match its resentment for those who survived. But the two soldiers conspire to enact an audacious form of revenge against the country that abandoned them to penury and despair, with a scheme to swindle the whole of France on an epic scale.

Meanwhile, believing her brother killed in action, Édouard’s sister Madeleine has married Pradelle, who is running a little scam of his own…

 

 

Librarian’s Comments

After World War 1, in Paris, the fallen are exalted and the country wants to honour them. The miserable veterans, however, are forgotten and can hardly keep body and soul together. Two of them decide to exploit the economy of profiteering and plot a war memorial scam. The novel reveals brutality, compassion, heroism and cowardice present both in war and peace.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Pierre
Lemaitre

Pierre Lemaitre was born in Paris in 1951. He worked for many years as a teacher of literature before becoming a novelist. He was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger, alongside Fred Vargas, for Alex.

In 2013 his novel Au revoir là-haut (The Great Swindle, in English translation) won the Prix Goncourt, France’s leading literary award.

Pierre Lemaitre was born in Paris in 1951. He worked for many years as a teacher of literature before becoming a novelist. He was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger, alongside Fred Vargas, for Alex.

In 2013 his novel Au revoir là-haut (The Great Swindle, in English translation) won the Prix Goncourt, France’s leading literary award.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Frank
Wynne

Frank Wynne is an award-winning Irish writer and translator from French and Spanish. Over a career spanning more than 20 years, Wynne has translated a wide variety of authors, including Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Modiano, Emiliano Monge, Alice Zeniter and Virginie Despentes. Both his translations of Vernon Subutex One was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2018. Frank Wynne was Chair of judges for the International Booker Prize 2022. His translation of Standing Heavy was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023, announced on April 18, 2023.

Frank Wynne is an award-winning Irish writer and translator from French and Spanish. Over a career spanning more than 20 years, Wynne has translated a wide variety of authors, including Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Modiano, Emiliano Monge, Alice Zeniter and Virginie Despentes. Both his translations of Vernon Subutex One was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2018. Frank Wynne was Chair of judges for the International Booker Prize 2022. His translation of Standing Heavy was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023, announced on April 18, 2023.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
06/09/2016
Country
France
Original Language
French
Publisher
MacLehose Press
Translator
Frank Wynne
Translation
Translated from the original French by Frank Wynne

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