The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
Published July 11, 2019
- Title The Reader on the 6.27
- Author Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
- Year 2014
- Genres Contemporary, Romance
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. But it is when he discovers the diary of a lonely young woman, Julie – a woman who feels as lost in the world as he does – that his journey will truly begin.
This is one of those deliciously short but beautiful works, translated from French to English and losing nothing in the process. It tells the story of a simple guy who goes to work, looks after his friends, feeds his fish, and dreams of books. He also salvages single pages from the pulping machine he works with, and reads them aloud on the train to work.
A brief glimpse into these lives, I particularly enjoyed the moment where a handful of books are purchased to keep an older man motivated, the security guard who almost always speaks only in verse, and of course the burgeoning love story for which you only get the very smallest start of the tale. It’s really lovely.
My only issue with this story is that I wouldn’t be able to cope on a train with someone reading aloud a variety of pages. I would want to know what happens next and he just doesn’t have that information. He’s done the best he can though, and eventually will hopefully be rewarded.
Rating: 4 / 5