Musso and Dicker in bookstores: bestseller season is open

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Published on : 05/25/2020 – 14:06Modified : 05/25/2020 – 14:04

Paris (AFP)

The new novels by Guillaume Musso and the Swiss Joël Dicker have an appointment this week with their readers after having seen their publication postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic and the closing of bookshops.

“Life is a novel” (Calmann-Lévy), the 18th title by Guillaume Musso, n ° 1 in sales in France for 10 years, is expected in bookstores on Tuesday. “The Enigma of Room 622” (Ed. De Fallois) from Switzerland, winner of the Grand Prize for the novel of the French Academy, will be at bookstores on Wednesday.

Guillaume Musso, 45 and Joël Dicker, 34, are part of the very closed circle of authors whose books have sold millions of copies and each of their novels is eagerly awaited.

Joël Dicker’s book should have appeared on March 25 and Guillaume Musso’s book on April 28.

To meet this long wait, the publishers did not skimp on resources. Calmann-Lévy has planned a circulation of 400,000 copies for “La vie est un roman”. Joël Dicker’s book will benefit from a circulation of 450,000 copies.

The stakes are immense as the book industry has been struck down by the Covid-19 epidemic. Professionals in the sector estimate that they lost 500 million euros during confinement.

“The complete closure of bookstores has led to a loss of almost all of their turnover for them, and of more than 80% for publishing houses”, recalled on Saturday a group of 625 authors, publishers and booksellers in a forum addressed to the Head of State asking him for “a major recovery plan” in favor of the book by this summer.

Guillaume Musso who is among the 625 signatories is determined to do his part to “restart the machine”.

His previous novel, “The Secret Life of Writers”, published in the Pocket Book on March 18, was by far the best-selling book during the confinement.

“Life is a novel” (304 pages, 21.90 euros) is certainly promised to appear at the top of the bestseller list in the coming weeks.

First there is the object-book. Designed by graphic designer Mathieu Persan (author of the poster “Stay at home”), the cover of the book is a work of art. We see skyscrapers tangled with open books from which leaves escape.

– Gary’s shadow –

There is then and above all a great story that will delight both thriller lovers (we are immersed in a new mystery of the yellow room around the mysterious death of the young child of a writer) and lovers of literature.

If the previous novel was called “The Secret Life of Writers”, it could be titled “The Dream Life of Novel Characters”.

Undoubtedly a great writer and a great reader, Guillaume Musso returns brilliantly to the profession of writing, inspiration, real and imaginary life …

Literary references are legion (Simenon, Stephen King, Kundera, Flaubert …) but “Life is a novel” irresistibly brings to mind Romain Gary, the writer who also signed under the pseudonym Emile Ajar.

Guillaume Musso would it be enough to be only Guillaume Musso? In this case, we are already looking forward to reading the next novel from his avatar.

Joël Dicker meanwhile takes us into a dizzying story around an unsolved murder in the midst of a large Geneva private bank …

A long-term novel spanning thirty years, “The Enigma of Room 622” (576 pages, 23 euros) is constructed in the style of soap operas of the past, each end of the chapter bringing a new twist . It is a question of travesties, false identities, illusions … Which is really which is the question which the reader will have the answer only on the last page.

This book is also an opportunity for the young Swiss author to pay tribute to his publisher Bernard de Fallois, who died at 91 in January 2018.

The pages devoted to the relations between an old publisher and a young author are overwhelming.

“Life is a novel” wrote Joël Dicker in the last pages of his book, an involuntary nod to Musso’s book.

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