By Pierre Choisnet
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Michel Bussi prances each year at the head of the gondolas of all the bookstores. French author among the most read in France, his books are all successful. For example, he was the second French writer by number of books sold according to the 2020 GFK – Le Figaro ranking, with nearlyone million copies sold in 2019.
Reason why the writer regularly allows himself to jostle his readers with what he calls “sidesteps”, trying out new literary genres.
New Babel, a thriller of anticipation
Latest example with New Babela novel of anticipation, sub-genre of science fiction.
It was this Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at Louviers (Eure), his hometownfor a signing session in the Quai des mots bookshopliterary temple of the Norman cloth city.
It was the occasion of a small video interview. After the autograph session of course. On the menu: his latest book, his current readings, his projects and his return to Louviers.
Teleportation in a traveling thriller
He made a name for himself with detective novels. His first book, Code Lupine, was presented as a “Norman Da Vinci Code”. He likes to find himself where you least expect him. After the tales (Morning Wake Tales – 2018), a series of youth novels (Neo – 2021) or comic strips (adaptations of his novels), Michel Bussi recently tried a new genre: science fictionespecially anticipation.
New Babel, book released in February 2022, takes place in 2097. The world is revolutionized by human teleportation, which is as easy to do, thanks to a bracelet, as looking at your watch. In this universe where distances are abolished, where the end of the world is at your fingertips, a crime the likes of which we no longer see shakes human society which is more united than ever, speaking a single language, Spanish. Three police officers and a journalist then embark on an investigation that will take them, literally, to the four corners of the Earth.
“His Number One Fan” and “Blood Twist Final”
May the readers of Michel Bussi be reassured. We find in New Babel all the style that characterizes this norman author who now lives near Rouen (Seine-Maritime).
In Louviers this Tuesday, May 3, Michel Bussi was welcomed with open arms, crossing known faces, a childhood friend, but also “his number one fan”, according to the main interested party, Martine Lenormand, who lives in Louviers.
I am his number one fan. I have this title for life! [rire] Since 2011, every time he comes to Louviers, Rouen or the surrounding area, I go to meet him. There, I come to be autographed “The factory of suspense”. His latest book, “New Babel”, is surprising at first, then exciting. However, I am not a science fiction reader. Michel Bussi will soon be signing in La Réunion and I would like to be able to teleport there.
“The suspense, the adventure, the final revelation, it’s all there! With Michel Bussi, I am never disappointed. I read everything about him, ”says, enthusiastic, Elisabeth Gonçalves, an avid reader. His son, Geoffrey, 21, accompanied him.
The final blood twist is always effective!. My mother has just introduced me to Michel Bussi. We have similar tastes so I’m not worried. I read Neo in comics. And I’m very curious to discover the novel version. I loved the story, the people and the drawings are superb.
“It is always an honor to receive Mr. Bussi”
Stéphane Lemaître, manager of the Quai des mots bookshop, was delighted. “He has already come to this bookstore almost a dozen times. It is always an honor to receive Mr. Bussi. He could snub us, given his success, but he wants to keep this link with his hometown. . He always finds a way to come,” he says.
“New Babel”, the latest book by Michel Bussi, is one of the biggest successes of the Loverian bookshop. “He enjoys hitting his audience, that’s what’s interesting. He doesn’t lock himself into one genre and always surprises. But it’s still Michel Bussi at heart. The fact that it’s science fiction, it stops some, it’s true. But those who surpass their preconceptions love the book.”
Memories of Pont-de-l’Arche with a childhood friend
The crowd waiting to get a dedication from Michel Bussi was mainly made up of women, the primary audience of the Loverian author. But one man had a special history with the writer.
Pascal Lemarié, lives today in Orival (Seine-Maritime), but grew up in Pont-de-l’Arche, like Michel Bussi. This is where they met. “We’ve known each other since we were around 11,” says Pascal Lemarié. Michel Bussi remembers it well.
What did we laugh about when we were kids! We were altar boys at Pont-de-l’Arche. There was Father Gabriel Caillet. He was quite a character, very modern, funny, charismatic. We loved it!
Pascal Lemarié adds: “We met again before the Covid. It’s my wife who reads Michel Bussi. Me, I started Die on the Seine. I really like. »
The invincible paperdiscussion between believers
A young woman who grew up in Acquigny (Eure), near Louviers, had made the trip from Paris. Camille Palandjian, 28, is a graphic designer. She is also the author of a book that she published in July 2021 by Éditions du Palio: L’invincible papier.
It’s a graduation thesis that I managed to get published. This is an essay available at the Quai des mots bookstore. By trying to surpass paper, the screen has given new life to paper, new uses, new objects. And in my book, I quoted a passage from “The Last Unicorn”, a book by Michel Bussi.
An admirer of Michel Bussi’s books, she was proud to give him her own work. Together, they have indeed agreed on the invincibility of paper. “I have a whole shelf dedicated to Michel Bussi’s books,” adds the young woman.
Christopher Calais, a 26-year-old young man from Lovère, was present to buy and have a dedication to La fabrique du suspense (March 2022, Le Robert). “He tells the secrets of the writing of his novels. I try to write myself and it helps me,” he says.
Michel Bussi, he wants to make one thing clear: “This is not a book with miracle recipes for writing a book that works. It doesn’t work like that. Writing that must go through a personal desire, believing in what we do, persevering. »
Michel Bussi will be signing in Bennecourt (Yvelines) on Tuesday May 24, 2022 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the media library (rue de l’église – 01 30 93 28 64).
New Babel, Les Presses de la Cité editions, 447 pages, published in February 2022. Price: 21.90 euros.
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