Bar Balto By Faïza Guène

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Bar Balto is a whodunit set in a dead end town near Paris. Joël, AKA 'The Rink' because of his bald pate, the very unpopular owner of the only bar in town, has been murdered.When he is found dead in his flat, naked, covered with multiple stab wounds and surrounded by rivers of blood, it's not so much a question of who killed him but who didn't kill him, and it seems that most of his customers have strong motives. In a series of talking heads, they tell us their stories in their own, very different voices (from Magalie, the teenaged girl obsessed with Paris Hilton who talks in mobile phone speak, to a local mother whose only escape in life is her regular visits to the bar where she has to endure Joel's lecherous gaze).As the tension mounts and we're still none the wiser, the ending - in the form of Joël's final confession - is as shocking and tragic as it is unexpected.

This novel is many things: a gripping whodunit, a shaggy dog story, a series of hilarious monologues and an insight into the human stories that lie behind banal, blind, unthinking, everyday racism. Handled with her hallmark provocative wit and delightful levity, this is a departure from Faïza's first two hugely successful novels which shows her flexing her literary muscles and extending her range as a writer of supreme talent. But, in her own words, this novel is a continuation of her ongoing theme of 'the invisible people in society'. Darkly disturbing, staggeringly impressive, Bar Balto is also a blast - showing off Guène's brilliance as a ventriloquist and her growing skill as a storyteller and social observer who can not be ignored. Bar Balto

Je suis dans un cycle de lecture des romans de Faïza Guène, et celui-ci m'a beaucoup moins plu que les autres. Ce n'est pas que l'histoire est mauvaise ou que le récit choral est mal foutu, c'est qu'il y a pour moi une dissonance chez les personnages entre leurs portraits physiques/sociaux (tristement réalistes) et leurs propos. Ça ne colle pas vraiment, parfois ��a sonne vraiment faux. Un peu comme une mauvaise traduction. Les traits d'humour et d'esprit qui m'ont frappée dans les trois autres romans que j'ai lu de cette autrice m'ont manqué, aussi. Literature Fiction Un roman qui donne la voix à des personnages d'un quartier populaire, passant de l'un à l'autre et faisant le tour de leur quotidien, entre ennui, chômage, déboires de l'adolescence.
L'histoire est simple: Jojo, taulier raciste, macho et bourru du bar Le Balto a été retrouvé mort, baignant dans son sang et une enquête policière est en cours afin de découvrir le (la) coupable.
On retrouve ici la plume si particulière, intelligente, moderne et malicieuse de Faïza Guène, qui a écrit ce roman à seulement 23 ans. Literature Fiction absolutely excellent translation by the great Sarah Ardizzone. The book in itself is ok, a bit caricatured. Literature Fiction Cuando terminé el libro no sabía muy bien qué pensar... Después de leer la sinopsis creía que iba a ser una novela negra o policíaca, y lo es en algunas partes, pero en otras se centra en hacer un retrato social de los barrios de las afueras, a veces se centra en los dramas individuales de los personajes, y me dio la sensación de estar leyendo un batiburrillo de historias que no llegaban a estar bien cohesionadas de todo. Literature Fiction This is the 3rd book I've read from French author Faïza Guène and in the past months. The main theme is still the same: life in the French suburbs, which are old and high density residences where live low income population and immigrants.

The difference between this book and the previous 2 I've read is in the format of the story. The story is presented as a crime story. Each chapter is about one character living in those suburbs. Therefore, this is a multi-character novel. Each character speaks for himself/herself about his/her life in the neighborhood and in general.

One of the positive aspect of the author's novels is that she gives voice directly to the people the neighborhood and do what the rest of society does: to speak for them without knowing them and to judge them on appearances alone. Unfortunately, when you've read one book of Faïza Guène, you've read the rest of them because it is always about the same theme. Literature Fiction


La vie de quelques habitants tous un peu 'louches' autour du Balto. L'auteur arrive a faire varier tout les style et nous fait glisser dans la peau de chacun de personnages. Literature Fiction Facile à lire et assez prenant mais il y a quand même des défauts importants.
C'est peut-être parce que le livre a été écrit en 2008 mais la façon de parler de certains personnages sonnait souvent faux et ça en devenait gênant.
Le plot twist est assez décevant, je commence à en avoir assez des crimes où la victime a orchestré son meurtre. Literature Fiction Mir gefiel Faïza Guènes Buch Kiffe kiffe demain sehr, deshalb wollte ich unbedingt mehr von ihr lesen. Les gens du Balto war allerdings ein Reinfall für mich. Die Handlung, die Personen und besonders das Ende fand ich persönlich etwas platt. Literature Fiction This is the second book I have read by this young French-algerian author and I enjoyed it a lot..a body is found and a host of neighbourhood characters give their account of themselves. It's not a murder mystery really, more like a series of character studies, and written in a particular vernacular of the young. Kudos to the translators, turning the street french of the banlieues into an equally refreshing english slang..I'm guessing it's vaguely south London but am far too old to know these things..!! Literature Fiction CN: murder, suicide of parent in the past, racism, ableism, abuse of intellectually disabled teen, physical violence.

It was entertaining enough. The ending was a bit far fetched and the characters were very two dimensional. It'd probably translate well into a screenplay. Literature Fiction