The Eskimo Solution by Pascal Garnier

The term ‘Eskimo Solution’ refers to the practice among the indigenous peoples of the north of committing geronticide (though this was rare and only done in times when food was scarce). Struggling author Louis happens upon the concept for a crime novel in which the lead character – also called Louis – kills his own mother for the inheritance.

Having succeeded, he then decides to help out his friends, secretly murdering their aged relatives so they too can cash in on much-needed legacies. But over time, events in the novel begin to overlap with circumstances in Louis’ own life. Is it life imitating art, or are these two narratives one and the same, intertwined in Louis’ own confused sense of reality?

This latest translation by Gallic Books is a darkly surreal story-within-a-story, full of self-analysis and social commentary. It’s not one for every Garnier fan, but is written with the author’s usual spark and at just 152 pages, is barely an afternoon’s work.

The Eskimo Solution by Pascal Garnier. Published by Gallic Books. List price is £7.99.

From France Today magazine