The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre audiobook

The Great Swindle

By Pierre Lemaitre
Read by Gareth Armstrong

MacLehose Press
14.99 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $32.00
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781529403077

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More

Winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, a timeless story of how war transforms lives in unexpected and often tragic ways as seen through the eyes of three World War I vets The year is 1918, the war on the Western Front all but over. An ambitious officer, Lieutenant Henry D'Aulnay-Pradelle, sends two soldiers over the top and then surreptitiously shoots them in the back to incite his men to attack the German lines. When another of D'Aulnay-Pradelle's soldiers, Albert Maillard, reaches the bodies and discovers how they died, the lieutenant shoves him into a shell hole to silence him. Albert is rescued by fellow soldier, the artist Edouard Péricourt, who takes a bullet in the face. The war ends and both men recover, but Edouard is permanently disfigured, and fakes his death to prevent his family from seeing him as a cripple. In gratitude for Edouard's rescue, Albert becomes the injured man's companion and caregiver. Finding that the postwar gratitude for the soldiers' service is nothing more than lip-service to an empty idea, the two men scramble to survive, ultimately devising a scam to take money for never-to-be-built war memorials from small towns. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Pradelle has married Edouard's sister Madeline and is running a scam of his own that involves the exhumation of war victims. In this sorrowful, heart-searching novel, the interwoven lives of these three men create a tapestry of the human condition as seen through the lens of war, revealing brutality and compassion, heroism and cowardice, in equal measure.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

Prix Goncourt, 2013

Winner of CWA International Dagger Award, 2016

Winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, a timeless story of how war transforms lives in unexpected and often tragic ways as seen through the eyes of three World War I vets


The year is 1918, the war on the Western Front all but over. An ambitious officer, Lieutenant Henry D'Aulnay-Pradelle, sends two soldiers over the top and then surreptitiously shoots them in the back to incite his men to attack the German lines.


When another of D'Aulnay-Pradelle's soldiers, Albert Maillard, reaches the bodies and discovers how they died, the lieutenant shoves him into a shell hole to silence him. Albert is rescued by fellow soldier, the artist Edouard Péricourt, who takes a bullet in the face. The war ends and both men recover, but Edouard is permanently disfigured, and fakes his death to prevent his family from seeing him as a cripple. In gratitude for Edouard's rescue, Albert becomes the injured man's companion and caregiver.


Finding that the postwar gratitude for the soldiers' service is nothing more than lip-service to an empty idea, the two men scramble to survive, ultimately devising a scam to take money for never-to-be-built war memorials from small towns. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Pradelle has married Edouard's sister Madeline and is running a scam of his own that involves the exhumation of war victims.


In this sorrowful, heart-searching novel, the interwoven lives of these three men create a tapestry of the human condition as seen through the lens of war, revealing brutality and compassion, heroism and cowardice, in equal measure.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

A dark, burning requiem delivered in glorious prose that is as tough and effective as a punch in the face . . . It will leave you stunned. François Busnel, Express
A fast-paced tale, filled with twists and turns, following a mischievous, disillusioned view of post-war France. Astrid de Larminat, Figaro
You'll be horrified and angered, yet often amused at this clever look at war's aftermath. Weekend Sport
Lemaitre's tale is carefully researched, and most of the story's value lies in its historical authenticity....the battlefield and hospital scenes convey Lemaitre's mastery of imagery. Kirkus Reviews
A masterly epic of post-war France, where impostures triumph and capitalists grow rich from the ruins. Macha Séry, Le Monde
[An] assured, somber exploration of post-WWI French society...Lemaitre captures the venal capitalism of the postwar period...Despite his unscrupulous scheme, Édouard proves impossible to dislike. His determination to play a great trick on the society that betrayed him is infectious, and readers cannot help rooting for his plans as they reach their dark, bizarrely joyous fruition. Publishers Weekly
Mr. Lemaitre's background in crime fiction shows through in the intricate plotting and suspenseful pacing of The Great Swindle, which at times reads like a thriller. Its characters harbor so many secrets that part of the enjoyment in the book comes from seeing how the author plans to disentangle them. Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
Pierre Lemaitre breaks the elitist mould with passion, clarity, and originality . . . moving, angry, intelligent--and compelling. Marcel Berlins, The Times
You feel the author's indignation . . . Who really profits from war? Crooks, the vengeful, and frauds. The Great Swindle is political as much as it is picaresque. Christine Ferniot, Telerama
Winner of the Prix Goncourt
Winner the International Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel
Its themes connect elegantly with its action . . . a striking critique of a grieving nation's desire to prettify its past. Times Literary Supplement

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Pierre Lemaitre

Author Bio: Pierre Lemaitre

Pierre Lemaitre has worked for many years as a literature teacher. His novels have earned him exceptional critical and public acclaim as a master of crime fiction and have won him the Prix du Premier Roman de Cognac 2006, the Prix du Meilleur Polar Francophone 2009, and the Prix du Polar Européen du Point 2010. Alex is his first novel to be translated into English and won the prestigious 2013 Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger Award. 

Titles by Author

See All

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Thrillers
Runtime: 14.99
Audience: Adult
Language: English