Fiction Book Reviews

Thriller | How’s The Pain? | Pascal Garnier

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We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about How’s the Pain? by Pascal Garnier.

How’s the Pain? is a reissue of one of Garnier’s most accomplished novels and is available as a beautiful new edition in the Editions Gallic collection.

Book cover for How's The Pain? by Pascal Garnier

How’s the Pain? by Pascal Garnier is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.

Death is Simon’s business. And now the ageing vermin exterminator is preparing to die. But he still has one last job down on the coast, and he needs a driver. 

Bernard is twenty-one. He can drive and he’s never seen the sea. He can’t pass up the chance to chauffeur for Simon, whatever his mother may say. As the unlikely pair set off on their journey, Bernard soon finds that Simon’s definition of vermin is broader than he’d expected … 

Veering from the hilarious to the horrific, this offbeat story from master stylist Pascal Garnier is at heart an affecting study of human frailty. 


I enjoyed reading C’est La Vie last year and was pleased to receive How’s the Pain, another translated Garnier crime noir novel.

A quirky, dark read set in France about Simon, an ageing vermin exterminator.

On meeting Bernard, Simon decides he wants the naive, down-to-earth young man to chauffeur him on his last job.

Bernard soon discovers that Simon didn’t share what kind of vermin he intended to get rid of.

From their meeting Simon meets Bernard‘s alcoholic mother and whilst on their journey they both meet Fiona, a young mother to Violette and Rose the taxidermist.

A short read using dark humour.

Jera's Jamboree

Pascal Garnier, who died in March 2010, was a talented novelist, short story writer, children’s author and painter. From his home in the mountains of the Ardèche, he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life. Though his writing is often very dark in tone, it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry wit. Garnier’s work has been likened to the great thriller writer, Georges Simenon.


I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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