Daniel Rondeau: SOS France

Daniel Rondeau: SOS France
Daniel Rondeau: SOS France

Hinterland ”paints a striking picture of a province that suffers… and revolts.

We are in the Aube, near Troyes. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful name of French department but, there, one does not choose the cards of its life, one is satisfied to play with, and they are very weak. Abandoned factories, curtains of businesses lowered, even the Clairvaux prison is going to close. Frustration finds its grain everywhere. Exactly, there is a new one: the increase in the price of diesel. At first, no one pays attention.

It’s not just a novel, it’s a tocsin

The characters in Daniel Rondeau’s novel continue their activities. Inge, the German filmmaker, is preparing her film on Saint Bernard. Smyrn, the music producer, sets up his property. Caronpaul, the newspaper’s editor, handles current affairs. “BMM”, the deputy, looks at farms. Amandine, the cashier of the Leclerc center, lets herself be flirted with. Gassien, the former legionary, raises his dogs in the forest. The local rebellious community is planting cannabis. Yet the fire is smoldering. Roundabouts are busy, pallets are blazing. Nothing maddening. More sensitive to their daily worries than to the distress of others, the authorities doze off. But it’s like with lemon, a little drop and the oyster wakes up. Jacquerie is spreading. Slings appear, steel balls too. We begin to go to Paris, where the State grants a few good words.

Also read.Chaos manual

The romance of quiet life in the hinterland turns into a fire. The time is no longer for marivaudage. The existence of each character is turned upside down. It is fascinating: under the effect of the cynicism of the leaders of the rope, a country is waking up. And scary: a small river sometimes gives a large delta. It’s not just a novel, it’s a tocsin. 

“Backcountry”, by Daniel Rondeau, ed. Grasset, 368 pages, 22 euros.

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