Now a major French film Au revoir là-haut - Prix Goncourt-winning masterpiece by the writer who brought you Alex, Irène and Camille.
October 1918: the war on the Western Front is all but over. Desperate for one last chance of promotion, the ambitious Lieutenant Henri d'Aulnay Pradelle sends two scouts over the top, and secretly shoots them in the back to incite his men to heroic action once more.
And so is set in motion a series of devastating events that will inextricably bind together the fates and fortunes of Pradelle and the two soldiers who witness his crime: Albert Maillard and Édouard Péricourt.
Back in civilian life, Albert and Édouard struggle to adjust to a society whose reverence for its dead cannot quite match its resentment for those who survived. But the two soldiers conspire to enact an audacious form of revenge against the country that abandoned them to penury and despair, with a scheme to swindle the whole of France on an epic scale.
Meanwhile, believing her brother killed in action, Édouard's sister Madeleine has married Pradelle, who is running a little scam of his own...
Winner of the Prix Goncourt, Lemaitre's assured, somber exploration of post-WWI French society opens shortly before the 1918 armistice. Lt. Henri d'Aulnay-Pradelle murders two of his soldiers to provoke a French attack on German territory, then unsuccessfully tries to eliminate the two witnesses, Albert Maillard and douard P ricourt. After the armistice , Albert works menial jobs to pay for morphine for douard, whose jaw was blown off when he saved Albert from Pradelle. Pradelle, meanwhile, makes his fortune reburying French soldiers in proper cemeteries. douard decides to exploit his country's desire to honor fallen soldiers by contracting to build memorials and then absconding with the down payments. Lemaitre (Alex) captures the venal capitalism of the postwar period, in which Pradelle's company buries German bodies as French soldiers and saws off corpses' feet to fit into cheap coffins; meanwhile, politicians speak of honoring the dead, but soldiers like douard and Albert live in poverty. Despite his unscrupulous scheme, douard proves impossible to dislike. His determination to play a great trick on the society that betrayed him is infectious, and readers cannot help rooting for his plans as they reach their dark, bizarrely joyous fruition.