The Sufferer’s Laugh

Cécile COULON

In a disquieting world, with overtones of 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the authorities have found a way to ensure social order : public readings have become an ideological tool to manipulate the masses.

Stadiums are packed with people starved of intense emotions and greedily listening to the various state-authorized genres : thriller, horror, drama or romance.

A man, with a mere number for a name, 1075, works within the security department. To fulfil his task, he himself undertakes to read nothing, not on any account... Trained in excessively extreme conditions, he becomes one of the most efficient and respected Internal Security agents.

The life of 1075 takes a turn the day he is bitten by a guard dog set loose onto a hysterical spectator, which the guards were unable to control. Confined the hospital, he is immersed in boredom until he attends, by chance, a reading lesson given in the pediatric department. Caught in his own trap, he is to develop a taste for reading...

A fascinating tale about the consumer society and literature : Cécile Coulon is surely one of the most talented authors of her generation.

Press reviews

Le Monde des Livres

« A satire of a society where the cult of entertainment sabotages freedom and condemns culture: outstandingly crafted. »

Le Figaro littéraire

« She effortlessly gathers her readership from adolescence onwards, without detering older readers. »

L’Express-Styles

« An impeccable parable on a totalitarianism bereft of memory. »

About the author

Cécile Coulon (ENG)
Cécile Coulon was born in 1990. She is studying and working on a Phd on (...)

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Trois saisons d'orage

Three Seasons of Thunderstorms

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Le Cœur du Pélican

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Le Roi n'a pas sommeil

The King is not sleepy

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Méfiez-vous des enfants sages

Beware of well-behaved children

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Paru le 26-08-2010

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