The Ninth Life of Louis Drax
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Nine-year-old Louis Drax is a problem child: bright, precocious, deceitful, and dangerously accident-prone. When he falls off a cliff during a picnic, the accident seems almost predestined.
Louis miraculously survives--but the family has been shattered. Louis' father has vanished, his mother is in shock, and Louis lies in a deep coma from which he may never emerge.
In a renowned coma clinic, a specialist tries to coax Louis back to consciousness. But the boy defies medical logic, startling the doctor 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?
it from a cow’s neck or buttock after paralysing it with spit called saliva. I could tell Fat Perez anything I wanted, because it was just between the two of us and it didn’t leave the room. The grosser it was, the more excited he got. His leather chair squeaked. I always thought that if he ever stopped being all excited by my blood stories, he could just leave a tape recorder in the room with his voice on it saying Tell Me More every few minutes. Then he could go and watch Cartoon Network and
and the habit peaked during my adolescence, when the mind and body are evolving so rapidly. During my puberty, those years of daily self-astonishment, sexual fantasy and furtive masturbation beneath the sheets, I sleepwalked almost every night. I never went as far as the beach again, but sometimes I would awake and find myself in a barn belonging to the neighbouring farmer, or in the storeroom where my parents kept antiques awaiting restoration. Surprisingly, I never had any accidents during any
paperwork and hastily assembling some notes on Isabelle Masserot. But the same question kept nudging at me with an unnerving insistence: Was I losing it? Five minutes later, as if in answer to that very question, Guy Vaudin turned up, looking haggard and anxious. I was immediately on the alert. —Glad to catch you, he said, taking a chair at the other end of the desk. —I think we need a word. Look, Pascal, he said, scratching the back of his hand. —This is a bit awkward, but – well, Sophie rang
violence. Returning to take more photographs and widen the search, the police retrieved the Draxs’ abandoned car, a brand-new Volkswagen Passat parked half a kilometre up the road from the picnic spot; in the boot was a live hamster in a cage, running madly on its little treadmill. They removed the now soaking rug, the picnic hamper, and the rest of the detritus from the picnic area: plates, knives and forks, a thermos of coffee, half a bottle of white wine, three unopened cans of Coke, some
can love you too, that’s the thing I just found out. —I have to go soon, Young Sir, he says. —There’s going to be a funeral. I left Lucille on the ward with Louis and went to my office, where I called Jacqueline and asked her to join me. Noelle had already gone home for the day. While I was waiting for Jacqueline, I rang the girls’ apartment in Montpellier hoping to reach Sophie, but I got the answerphone. I didn’t know what to say so I hesitated and hung up. That felt cowardly, so I rang back