The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

by Liz Jensen | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0747571112 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Caro1 of Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on 3/21/2005
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17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 21, 2005
Nine-year-old Louis Drax is a problem child: bright, precocious, deceitful, and dangerously, disturbingly, accident prone. When he falls off a cliff into a ravine, the accident seems almost predestined. Louis miraculously survives - but the family has been shattered. Louis' father has vanished, his mother is paralysed by shock, and Louis lies in a deep coma from which he may never emerge. In a clinic in Provence, Dr Pascal Dannachet tries to coax Louis back to consciousness. But the boy defies medical logic, startling Dannachet out of his safe preconceptions, and drawing him inexorably into the dark heart of Louis' buried world. Only Louis holds the key to the mystery surrounding his fall - and he can't communicate. Or can he?

Journal Entry 2 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 25, 2005
Welcome to The Ninth Life of Louis Drax bookring!
We currently have 15 members. I have sent the bookring to nyassa on Wed 30th March and hope it reaches you all safely :-) Happy Bookring Reading!

Any problems, please PM me.
The list is as follows:

nyassa, Winchester/France
UrbanSpaceman, London
tanis, London
caffcaff, Rochester
Winterson, Brighton
chelseagirl, Farnborough
nice-cup-of-tea, Zurich, Switzerland
Mastulela, Nuneaton
psychjo, Portsmouth
angellica, Worksop
daemonwolf, Leeds
abrokenstarr, St Albans
flajol, Preston, Lancashire
Iagegu, Preston, Lancashire

...then back to me

Please remember to journal the book BOTH when you have received it (so we all know where it is) and once you have read it (so we all know what you thought of it.

I am really looking forward to hearing your feedback, thanks for participating.

Caroline

Journal Entry 3 by nyassa from Deal, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, March 31, 2005
It has arrived safely today, thank you Caro1, along with its own bookmark and sheet of points for discussion. What a good idea!

I'll set about reading it as soon as I can so I may even be able to get it on its way before we leave for France.

Journal Entry 4 by nyassa from Deal, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, April 09, 2005
Well this is going to be added to my list of best reads of 2005. I was not at all sure what to expect but before long I was finding it hard to put down. The only slight flaw as far as I was concerned was the relationship between the boy's mother and the doctor.

It's another book I would never have read if it hadn't been for BookCrossing. Thank you Caro1 for introducing me to it!

It will be on its way to UrbanSpaceman on Monday.

Journal Entry 5 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 19, 2005
This was waiting for me when I got back from a few days away. I'll get on it asap.

Journal Entry 6 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 20, 2005
This was an excellent read. Although I worked out the basic plot fairly early on in the novel, the book has enough depth and the story enough content that this didn't stop me from enjoying it. I liked the style in which Jensen wrote it - it's sparseness matched the geography, both the physical and the psychological. I'd be curious to know why Jensen chose to set it in France rather than the UK, but for me this also enhanced the story again by making the territory just a tad more alien.

Thanks to Caroline for putting this out on the ring.

I've PMed Tanis and will post it on as soon as I hear back.

Journal Entry 7 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, April 22, 2005
On its way to Tanis.

Journal Entry 8 by wingGinPoodlewing from Fleet, Hampshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 29, 2005
This arrived safe and sound in the post last weekend, but due to my house move I'm afraid I haven't had time to journal it til now. I'm going to start reading it tomorrow so it should be on it's way again soon. Really looking forward to this one after hearing about it on Page Turners.

Journal Entry 9 by wingGinPoodlewing from Fleet, Hampshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 05, 2005
I think this is going to be a strong contender for my top ten reads of the year. I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime recently and this reminded me of it in some ways. I thought the characters were well written and not overstyled so that enough was left to the imagination. Louis was a great character and I'm still tickled by Fat Perez and his ability to delude himself with his hindsight insight.

I'm going to pass this to CaffCaff at the London meet on Monday.

Journal Entry 10 by wingAngelChildwing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Monday, May 09, 2005
Passed on to me by Tanis at the Meet Up in London tonight...thanks :o)

Nice to meet you btw ;o)

I'm bookless as the moment so will start this one tomorrow and pass on when im done....

Journal Entry 11 by wingAngelChildwing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, May 12, 2005
I've never read The Curious Incident but i can see why this book can be compared to it. No speech marks (reminded me of Roddy Doyle's style) but i liked the way there were 2 narrators, sometimes that can be confusing, but this wasnt. I found the ending quite sad....

Will send to Winterson within the next couple of days..... Thanx Caro1

Journal Entry 12 by Winterson from Peacehaven, East Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Received today - looks great and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks all.

Journal Entry 13 by Winterson from Peacehaven, East Sussex United Kingdom on Monday, June 13, 2005
I enjoyed this book too. I found the way Jensen portrays Louis very effective –I found myself reading through the Dr’s bits wanting to get back to Louis telling his story. I liked the way he rehashed his mother’s words so you could see that he had been heavily influenced by her, almost as if she was speaking through him.

The downfall for me was Dr Dannachet. I just didn’t believe in him. I didn’t believe in his love for Natalie – it was all too soon and out of nowhere. I think Jensen could have made more of Natalie’s manipulation and need for sympathy upfront, to make Dannachet’s behaviour a bit more believable.

I loved the use of Gustave and the link between the coma and reality. The supernatural means of revealing the truth worked for me because it fit within the boundaries of the story – it’s believable even though not necessarily realistic.

Journal Entry 14 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 21, 2005
Really sorry - I was convinced that I'd journalled this when it arrived (several weeks ago - *ahem*) but obviously not. I've just moved house and it must have got lost in all the moving chaos. Sorry :0(

Anyway, I loved this book. The style is really unusual - lack of quotation marks, the two narrators, the very literal style in which Louis speaks - but it's incredibly easy to read, whilst being very deep. Like others I found the relationship between Natalie and the doctor slightly unreal, but then Natalie does seem to have some mystical effect on men so maybe it's not that unbelievable after all. I love the way that Louis spoke, using a combination of childish metaphors heavily overladen with his mother's influence, and although I had guessed who Gustave was and how the book was going to pan out halfway through, I was still enthralled by the development of the characters, especially Pierre's mother, who was drawn very sympathetically, and there was one twist that I hadn't seen coming at all.

A wonderful, unusual book and one I will probably read again. Thank you :)

I'll PM akg and see if she still wants to read this, if not I'll contact nice-cup-of-tea and post this off to Zurich asap.

Journal Entry 15 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Monday, September 19, 2005
Received Louis in the post today - thanks Chelseagirl for posting & thanks to Caro1 for the bookring! Will read & journal asap :-) Nice-cup-of-tea

Journal Entry 16 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Monday, September 26, 2005
I found this book alternately sad, disturbing, thought provoking and engrossing. The character of Louis, with his view of the world, and his 'rules' reminded me of Frank in the Wasp Factory (Iain Banks). Both children are disturbed, and they create their own world as way of imposing some 'order' in the real world. I think I was a bit slow on the uptake, but it took me ages to work out who Gustave was, I liked his way of calling Louis "Young Sir." What I found interesting was the way in which my view of the coma and Gustave changed. Initially I feared the Gustave character, believing him to be harming/holding Louis back. And then gradually I came to view the coma as a sort of 'staging post', a temporary cessation of the pain that Louis encounters from his world. I particularly like the metaphor of the forest fire, always threatening the centre from afar. That threat is always there.... and then the threat happens at the climax of the book. This story will stay with me for a long time I think. Thanks for sharing it, Caro1! Have pm-ed Mastuela for her address, so will send this on asap.

Sent to psychojo on 28th Sept, B Post (mastuela now has her own copy!)

Journal Entry 17 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, October 09, 2005
Thanks to Nice-cup-of-tea for sending this on to me - and for the teabag which I shall enjoy when I sit down to read this book. Have a couple of others to go before I get on with this one....

Journal Entry 18 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, January 08, 2006
Took this with me while away over Christmas and it ended up being read by me and other half as well. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it a real pageturner. The only thing that didn't work for me was something I can't mention here without ruining it for other readers - I think how the letters were written would be safe to say!

Sorry I've kept this for so long - will send on to Glasgowgirl asap.

PS Warning on the sheet of questions enclosed - they contain some spoilers!

Journal Entry 19 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 13, 2006
Glasgowgirl has now got her own copy, so sent on to Angellica today. Sorry for taking so long to send on.

Journal Entry 20 by angellica from Worksop, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Thursday, March 16, 2006
Received today - thank you :)

Journal Entry 21 by angellica from Worksop, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 20, 2006
I finished this a couple of days ago and it's one of those books that makes me wish I was more of a reviewer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I found that once I'd started to read it, I couldn't put it down.

I posted it to daemonwolf on friday 18/8.

Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 22 by DYI-991976 on Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Arrived today!

Journal Entry 23 by DYI-991976 on Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Released 12 yrs ago (9/27/2006 UTC) at book ring in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Mailing tomorrow. :)

Journal Entry 25 by abrokenstarr from Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, October 07, 2006
Ouch. I'm more swamped than I have ever been and have less reading time than I have ever had, but I am desperate to read this. I can't see a reading deadline, but I hope to get to this just after the half term, so just over a month. I hope that's okay.

Thanks to Caro and daemonwolf.

Journal Entry 26 by abrokenstarr from Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, December 02, 2006
I really struggled to get into this, mainly because I was reading it a few pages at a time.

However, once I did, I was hooked. A very interesting tale.

Sending on to flajol this week.

Journal Entry 27 by flajol from Carterton, Wairarapa New Zealand on Monday, December 18, 2006
Sorry I'm late journalling this - I think it arrived early last week. I have a couple of other rays to read before this, but have loads of free time over the next two weeks so it shouldn't be here for too long.

Thanks for sharing, Caro1.

Journal Entry 28 by flajol from Carterton, Wairarapa New Zealand on Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Wow! It took me ages to get going on this one. I think it took me over a month to read the first ten pages, then last night I finished the rest in one sitting.

I'm not usually into suspense novels, but I really enjoyed this one. It kept me guessing right up until the end. I won't give anything away here, for fear of spoiling it for future readers, but - read this book!

Thank you for sharing, Caro1, and sorry for holding this ray up. I was planning to post this on from NZ, but I see the next reader is in my home town so will pass it on when I get home.

RELEASE NOTES:

After several failed attempts to track down Iagegu, and with Caro1's permission to release this, I'm passing this book to Bookfrogster who's visiting for the weekend.

Journal Entry 30 by bookfrogster from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, May 07, 2007
Caught this while visiting flajol who can always be relied upon to supply a book, so I never need to bring oe of my own. I really enjoyed it, especially Louis' conversations with Fat Perez, and his slightly distorted understanding of the world based on what he'd overheard from adults talking.
Will take back up to Edinburgh to offer at our next meet up.

Journal Entry 31 by teapot from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, June 14, 2007
I picked this up at the monthly edinburgh meetup. Looking forward to reading it, but will have to wait a bit as I have a couple of books to read before this one. On my pile!

Journal Entry 32 by teapot from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, July 23, 2007
One of the best books I've read this year. Though I found the voice of Louis kind of annoying, especially as he kept saying 'and blah blah blah'. I also thought the scene where the doctor follows Natalie into the forest was a bit too much, I would have preferred some kind of direct consequence to Natalie's actions. I don't want to spoil it anymore than I already have so I'm not going to say anything else!

Journal Entry 33 by teapot from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It's going to Hinckley in a bookswap.
Sent this morning!

Journal Entry 34 by Tanamo from Hinckley, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 01, 2008
Safely received today. Thanks a lot.

Journal Entry 35 by Tanamo from Hinckley, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Very engrossing read and I was so sure it was going to be about Munchaussen syndrome. In common with many of the previous readers I found Dr. Dannachet's character didn't really ring true. Would someone in his position be so pathetic?

Journal Entry 36 by Tanamo at Daventry, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Saturday, October 25, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (10/25/2008 UTC) at Daventry, Northamptonshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Taking to today's meet at Daventry.

Journal Entry 37 by Sadlers-OBCZ from Daventry, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Monday, October 27, 2008
Now available on the shelf at Sadlers Fine Foods, 2-6 High Street, Daventry. The shelf is positioned prominently near to the counter, and very well stocked!


Journal Entry 38 by Sadlers-OBCZ from Daventry, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 21, 2009
As Sadlers Fine Foods has gone into administration I'm marking this book as travelling pending a journal entry. Hopefully we'll hear from the books that were on the Sadlers bookshelf again in the future!

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