Title: The Reader on the 6.27
Author: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
Publisher: Pan Books
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Books about Books/Cute/Foreign
My Rating: 8/10 Solid
Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, Guylain Vignolles has but one pleasure in life. Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. It’s this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. Julie feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author. This is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain’s life for the better. This captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature’s power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives.
I struggled to put this book in a particular genre. It’s a book about books, but it’s also a romance, warm, cute, happy, uplifting, subtle, funny, charming. At only about 200 pages, it’s a fairy short read, but it doesn’t need to be any longer. It’s not trying to be anything epic or outrageous, it’s just a simple story and that’s where its charm lies.
I worried about this being a translation at first, as I’ve not really enjoyed the previous translations I’ve read, but it really wasn’t an issue. It’s been beautifully translated, with care taken to ensure the humour remains.
There’s not really that much more I can say about this book. The synopsis above tells it all. It really isn’t anything more than that. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves books, or who just wants a light, uplifting break in-between heavier reads.