the reader on the 6.27 review

‘The Reader on the 6.27’ is a novel by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent that follows Guylain Vignolles, a man who works at a novel-pulping plant and saves various pages. These he reads aloud on the 6.27 train to work every morning. Translated by Ros Schwartz and published by Pan Macmillan, this is a fantastic little book about the wonders of reading, and the people it brings together.

This is only a small book, but it is absolutely packed full of gems. The characters are mad as hatters, and I love them all. Quirky and full of people who love books in their very particular ways, it also touches upon the darker side of publishing, and of life. Every single page contains something lovely and horrible and utterly poetic. I’ve read a lot of books about books, but this one really stands out as something unique. Words create life in a way that I’ve never experienced before, and don’t know that I’ll ever experience again.

I don’t think any of Didierlaurent’s other works have been translated into English. I really hope that they are, someday – this is definitely one of the best books that I’ve read this year. Tiny, translated, and terrific – anyone who loves books needs to read this.


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