Bar Balto
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Bar Balto

By (author) Faiza Guene , Translated by Sarah Ardizzone

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Joel, aka 'The Rink' (because his bald patch is shiny enough to skate on), the unpopular owner of the only bar in town has been murdered. There are so many suspects, it's not so much a question of who did kill him as who didn't. There's Magalie, the temperamental teenager obsessed with Paris Hilton; her troublemaker boyfriend, Tani; Tani's mother, Madame Levi; her unemployed, daytime-TV addicted husband; Yeznig, their younger son, who has learning difficulties but perfect memory recall; and newcomers Ali and Nadia, the Muslim twins struggling to fit in. As the tension mounts and we're still none the wiser, the ending is as tragic as it is unexpected.

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  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 11mm | 117g
  • 02 Feb 2012
  • VINTAGE
  • London
  • English
  • 0099539578
  • 9780099539575
  • 1,053,742

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Author Information

Faiza Guene was born in France in 1985 to Algerian parents. She wrote her first novel, Just Like Tomorrow, when she was 17 years old. It was a huge success in France, selling over 360,000 copies and translation rights around the world, and was shortlisted for the Young Minds Book Award 2006 and longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2007. Her second book was Dreams from the Endz.

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Review quote

"The various monologues very cleverly paint the picture of a day in the life of this deprived society; [it] is very thoroughly and convincingly done... She writes with intelligence and sympathy, with humour and understanding" -- Allan Massie Scotsman "Engaging... Along with the corpse himself, [the suspects] tell their stories in a series of monologues, and this is where Guene, with the help of an excellent translation by Ardizzone, really shines" -- Laura Wilson Guardian "One of the most exciting novelists to emerge in recent years" Irish Times "Brilliantly paced... and utterly distinctive" -- Daniel Hahn Independent "Guene is praised as a multicultural heroine. And to her credit, she turns stereotypes on their heads; the people of Making-Ends-Meet are an authentic community, whose humanity endears them to us, however gritty or kitsch their veneer" Times Literary Supplement

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Back cover copy

Joël, aka 'The Rink' (because his bald patch is shiny enough to skate on), the unpopular owner of the only bar in town has been murdered. There are so many suspects, it's not so much a question of who did kill him as who didn't. There's Magalie, the temperamental teenager obsessed with Paris Hilton; her troublemaker boyfriend, Tani; Tani's mother, Madame Levi; her unemployed, daytime-TV addicted husband; Yeznig, their younger son, who has learning difficulties but perfect memory recall; and newcomers Ali and Nadia, the Muslim twins struggling to fit in. As the tension mounts and we're still none the wiser, the ending is as tragic as it is unexpected. 'Engaging... Along with the corpse himself, [the suspects] tell their stories in a series of monologues, and this is where Guène, with the help of an excellent translation by Ardizzone, really shines' Laura Wilson, Guardian 'The various monologues very cleverly paint the picture of a day in the life of this deprived society; [it] is very thoroughly and convincingly done... She writes with intelligence and sympathy, with humour and understanding' Allan Massie, Scotsman 'Super-young, super-cool and fast becoming known as one of the hottest literary talents of multicultural Europe' Sunday Telegraph

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