The Great Swindle

Author(s): Pierre Lemaitre

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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 Pericourt, 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."

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Pierre Lemaitre was born in Paris in 1956. He worked for many years as a teacher of literature and now devotes his time to writing novels and screenplays. In 2013 he was awarded the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary award, for Au Revoir La-Haut. Frank Wynne is a translator from French and Spanish. His translations include works by Michel Houellebecq, Marcelo Figueras's IFFP-shortlisted Kamchatka, and the Commandant Camille Verhoeven trilogy (Alex, Irene, and Camille), by Pierre Lemaitre."

General Fields

  • : 9781623659035
  • : Quercus NA
  • : Maclehose Press Quercus
  • : September 2015
  • : 231mm X 150mm X 43mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Pierre Lemaitre
  • : Hardback
  • : English