New book by Daniel Pennac: pure reading pleasure

New book by Daniel Pennac: pure reading pleasure


This winter, it's the book we've been waiting for impatiently: Terminus Malaussene, the brand new Pennac .

So it's official. We spoke to Daniel Pennac earlier this month and he confirmed what we feared: Terminus Malaussène is indeed the very last installment in the Malaussene saga. A blow for the countless fans of this series, which started slowly in 1985 with Au bonheur des ogres

Besides, if we had asked him the question At the time, Daniel Pennac never would have guessed that one day it would end up having eight volumes. 

“When I wrote To the happiness of the ogres, I had the idea of ​​making The Carabine Fairy and while writing The Carabine Fairy, I had the idea of The Little Prose Merchant and probably also Monsieur Malaussène”, explains the author from one of the offices of Éditions Gallimard, in Paris.

“Then, in the mid-1990s, the newspaper Le Monde asked me to write a big story for the summer and I wrote Christians and Moors em>, he continues. Then it was Le Nouvel Observateur who wanted the same thing and there I wrote Aux fruits de la passion. After that, I quit for almost 20 years. Because life passes and because I have written other books. But at one point, I wanted to rediscover “Malaussènian” writing, which is slang, very oral, very metaphorical. Hence these last two volumes.”

Finally, the sequel

Published in 2017, the first of these last two volumes is entitled The Malaussene case 1: They lied to me. And Daniel Pennac summarizes the essence of the plot for us: “To create a kind of work of art, an installation, the Malaussène children kidnap Georges Lapietà, a slightly rascal but sympathetic businessman who looks a lot like Bernard Tap, he says. Except that real bandits arrive who will really kidnap Lapietà, with a demand for ransom in the key. That's what the first volume is about and when it got to the end, I had absolutely no idea how the story was going to continue. But absolutely not.”

“It was when I started writing the conversation that opens Terminus Malausseneeverything came, he says. She introduced me to the character of Pépère and from the moment I had Pépère, it went on its own because it is with him that the world is structured. I called him that because to tease me, my godson Lucien, whom I call Lul, called me Pépère when he was little. Starting from this child's joke, I made a terrible, very nasty Pépère.”

In fact, this Pépère is nothing like a sweet grandpa. At the head of the band of hooded criminals who kidnapped Lapietà and his son Tuc, he has not been close to murder for a long time now. On his finger, he even wears a signet ring worthy of a James Bond mobster. laughing Daniel Pennac.

Writing above all

Despite the presence of this awful unscrupulous fellow, we had a lot of fun in the company of the members of the Malaussene tribe (Benjamin, Julie, Le Petit, Verdun, Monsieur Malaussene, C'est Un Ange, Maracuja, etc.). They have always had resources and this time again, they will quickly find a way to surprise us… partly because they will have the whole Pépère gang on their heels!

Especially not wishing to write a traditional police investigation, Daniel Pennac thus manages to grab us from the first pages. 

His secret? “Write the most oral book possible, either in dialogues or in interior monologues. I absolutely wanted it to be oral, like a story that is told to you.”

Besides, now that the loop is complete, it's this “Malaussène tone” who will miss him the most. Yes, even more than its colorful characters. But there is a good reason for that. 

“Several of these characters are friends who continue to exist around me, explains Daniel Pennac. For example, the policeman named Titus is a friend of mine. Clara, Benjamin's sister, was one of my students 40 years ago and I will find her next week in a bookstore in Nantes! But there are also a few who died in real life. Queen Zabo, for example, or Loussa de Casamance, her lifelong friend. It's like that. As I said, life passes…”