Paul Béhaine, forced to leave the National Library which closes at 5 p.m., is accosted by a weird individual who claims to be Paul Valéry (who has been dead since 1945!); this Monsieur V. defends the famous sentence “The marquise left at five”. He claims never to have written it or even said it.
Monsieur V., enigmatic character with unpredictable reactions is obsessed by the hour, he will strive to demonstrate the relevance of this particular time in the arts.
The parallel world is open : a subterranean museum, a “five o’clockers” brotherhood and dreams that carry the reader into the heart of the First World War or the Budapest insurrection in 1956. The 5 o’clock mania will rush into and haunt Paul Béhaine himself. And when Monsieur V. disappears without warning, our hero will leave in search of him to reveal his true identity.
But who is he? Where does he come from? Why this obsession? The answers can be found in Monsieur V.’s eventful journey. Reflection on erudition and the multiple forms of writing, The 5 o’clock Man takes us on a literary walk along with unexpected suspense. Will the reader himself become obsessed by this crucial hour?