Binet
2019 Longlist

The 7th Function of Language

Translated from the French by Sam Taylor
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Roland Barthes is knocked down in a Paris street by a laundry van. It’s February 1980 and he has just come from lunch with Francois Mitterrand. Barthes dies soon afterward. History tells us it was an accident.

But what if it were an assassination? What if Barthes was carrying a document of unbelievable, global importance? A document explaining the seventh function of language – an idea so powerful it gives whoever masters it the ability to convince anyone, in any situation, to do anything.

Police Captain Jacques Bayard and his reluctant accomplice Simon Herzog set off on a chase that takes them from the corridors of power to backstreet saunas and midnight meetings. What they discover is a worldwide conspiracy involving the President, murderous Bulgarians and a secret international debating society.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Laurent
Binet

Laurent Binet lives and works in France. His first novel, HHhH, was an international bestseller that won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman, among other prizes.

Laurent Binet lives and works in France. His first novel, HHhH, was an international bestseller that won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman, among other prizes.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Sam
Taylor

Sam Taylor is an award-winning literary translator and novelist. He has translated more than sixty books from French including Laurent Binet’s HHhH, Leïla Slimani’s Lullaby, and Marcel Proust’s The Seventy-Five Folios.

 

Sam Taylor is an award-winning literary translator and novelist. He has translated more than sixty books from French including Laurent Binet’s HHhH, Leïla Slimani’s Lullaby, and Marcel Proust’s The Seventy-Five Folios.

 

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Intelligent, funny and very inventive.

To misquote the critic who reviewed the novel in The Guardian, it is playing the game of history in reverse. The fake anti-utopia by Binet is a hilariously funny and at the same time basically tragic artistic comment on our readiness to submit to fakedness in all its faked manifestations – national, global, informative, social, political and personal.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
19/08/2015
Country
France
Original Language
French
Author
Publisher
Harvill Secker
Translator
Sam Taylor
Translation
Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

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