Book Review: The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

25267912Title: The Reader on the 6.27

Author: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Genre: Fiction, Books About Books, Contemporary, France

Publisher: Pac Macmillan Australia

Published: May 1, 2015

Page Amount: 194 pages

Blurb From Goodreads:Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, he 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. And 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. A woman who 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 …

Why Read: Sometimes the reasons I choose certain books are simply because of the categories that they fall into on Goodreads. “The Reader on the 6.27” was one such book that had come up practically millions of times under my searches for new Books about Books. Sure, it had been on my TBR for decades – and on the rare occasion, I will actually take books from there (as opposed to getting something completely different and ignoring the fact that I have way too many books to be read).

Review: Where do I start? I don’t want to be insulting… when I say that The Reader On The 6.27 was ‘different’. Truly, different is not meant in a nasty way here. I absolutely adored the book, the way that sentences strung together in beautiful paragraphs, how books were described like some kind of magical doorway to a world of vivaciousness and light. It was touching. I love words, and if there’s one thing that Didierlaurent did well: it was that. Reading this book reminded me why I love reading. The words coming alive on a piece of paper that build an image in front of you – it’s the best part of finding a new book.

Granted, the one complaint I have about this is that the plot felt a bit unrealistic to me (not that all books need to be realistic, mind you). I just didn’t like that the whole purpose of the narrator after a point was to find a woman, whose diary he had stolen. Perhaps that’s just my inner complex-loving self coming to the forefront, but I want her to be sought out for a variety of reasons and not just returning the USB stick and mundane love. Yuck.

One of my favourite quotes of the book was, I felt, an accurate depiction of how we all feel when someone asks us if everything is alright:

No, everything’s not fine, Guylain felt like replying. I’m waiting for the return of a father who died twenty-eight years ago. My mother thinks I’m an executive in a publishing company. Every night I tell a fish about my day. My job sickens me to the point that I sometimes puke my guts out. And to crown it all I’m falling under the spell of a girl I’ve never met. In a nutshell, then, no problems, except that in every single area of my life I am ‘close to the lower limit of the curve’, if you see what I mean. Instead, Guylain gave a laconic ‘I’m fine’.

Rating: 4.4/5 Stars

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One Comment Add yours

  1. J says:

    Lovely review
    For me, the unrealistic point of the book was that if someone hated their job THAT much, they should really have a look at doing any thing else they possibly could! 🙂

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