Bruno Poissonnier got to know the French waterways, and the mariniers who work them, by travelling with his own barge and its unusual cargo of beehives and honey.
Collection : River stories
Dupont & Savin - Translation: Maggie Armstrong
Don't expect sweetness from his second novel The Last Voyage in which Bruno depicts a world seen through the eyes of Red Ray, a dyed-in-the-wool boatman of the old school as he crosses swords with a younger man.
Raymond's voyage through the picturesque canals which cross the heart of France allows plenty of time for introspection. Bruno gives a good insight into the mindset and preoccupations of an elderly boatman who never had much education and who's greatest ambition was that his only son should follow in his footsteps.
WhiLe Raymond, a widower, mulls over past sadness, his stubborn behaviour sets his colleague and competitor against him. The scene is set for dirty tricks with both boatmen adopting the philosophy: do one to others before they do one to you!
It is not the first time that Raymond's pig-headedness leads to tragedy and trouble, but it Looks set to be the last.
So what was he up to Raymond, known to aIl as Red Ray, loaded up like a mule on a day of steam heat, getting ready for a voyage that would last several weeks and take him as far as Provence?
Why didn't he wait for a cargo of sand or some builders' rubble, the sort of cargo that often crops up at the Conflans Bourse, and a trip that he could knock off in a day or two? Why did he commit himself to this foIly?
13 x 21 cm
Cover design Marion Janin
: 8.00 €
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