Monday, 2 July 2012

Mathias Malzieu - The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Title: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Original title: La Mécanique du coeur
Author: Mathias Malzieu
Pub. year: 2007
Pages: 176
Editor: Chatto & Windus

Summary: Edinburgh, 1874: Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation — the implantation of a cuckoo-clock in his chest. From then on his days all begin with a wind-up, in this dark, tender fairy tale spiced with devilish humour.

That's usually more Muffin's kind of book than mine. The atmosphere really Burton-like that she loves is almost always in Mathias Malzieu's books. But sometimes I give it a go, 'cause, you know, I don't dislike it and I like to try new stuff, especially if a friend likes it. I'm not actually sure she read it anyway, so I'll talk about it!

So we discover this unusual boy who is stuck with this cuckoo-clock heart and tries to live with it. I won't say he's endearing but there's something about him that catches the eye. And obviously, his heart becomes a real problem at some point and he has to find a way to deal with it. That is without saying he has a very peculiar entourage that didn't always help him and let trouble grow in his mind.

It is a really poetic and grisly story, filled with melancholy and a musical rhythm that goes along the words. And sometimes less poetic words (which didn't melt really well with the vibes, IMO). Kind of a mash-up between Edgar Allan Poe and Tim Burton's work, maybe with an ounce of Terry Gilliam.

As I said earlier, it's not exactly the kind of book I go for, and once again I see why, but still I enjoyed it. I'm just not a big fan of that kind of atmosphere (and of the author's work, whether we're talking about his books or his band's music). But I know there's a lot of fans of this genre, so I wanted to share this French book with you!

Mathias Malzieu is the lead singer of the French band Dionysos, who tends to make concept-albums, and sometimes they come from books he wrote. That's what happened here, so you can totally listen to the album (La Mécanique du cœur) if you want this world to be following you after the reading!

3 commentaires:

I just finished this book about a week ago but haven't written my review yet...just too busy. I loved the book but it was good to hear from someone who didn't quite as much. I hadn't made the connection with a kind of Poe or Burton feel, but you're totally right. I think I didn't notice it because I listened to the audiobook and the narration was a really fun Scottish accent.

Never would have found this blog if it wasn't for this challenge. Thanks!

I'm glad you liked it! I think this is a good book, just not really for me, so I still think people should read it if it's the kind of books they may like!

And I'm glad to read this! :)

I meant to say that I wouldn't have found the *BOOK* if it weren't for the challenge.

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