Endless war

Jean-Pierre Perrin

Rivages Noir, 304 p., 20 €

Without preamble, Joan-Manuel, overwhelmed by the abuse and torture suffered, sets out towards the Turkish border and freedom. One step after another, all in pain, he sets the pace. The narratives of two other protagonists follow in canon, including Jean Pierre Perrin, a great reporter and specialist in the Middle East, mingling the voices with that of the first, in this novel.

→ READ. In ten years, the war in Syria has killed nearly 500,000 people

One is on the trail of a former Nazi criminal, the other is looking for an American kidnapped in Iraq. In pursuit of ghosts or in search of redemption, the three men have this war in common. The intimate trajectories of their journey crisscross and mark out, between fiction and reality, the painful tragedy of the conflict against Daesh.

The traces lead to Homs, martyred city of Syria, the high point where destinies intersect. At the end of an endless tunnel, we jump into a circle of hell: ” The sky is bleeding. At the end of the street, a fire has just grabbed a motorcycle with a lick. The smoke sticks its pins in my eyes. Yet neither Virgil nor Dante to guide those who disembark but it is the sad reality of the world that arises when the author, in a moving tribute, mentions the death of the American journalist Marie Colvin and of the young photographer Rémy Ochlik, under the bombings of the Syrian power in February 2012.

This book is a rocking boat, carried by the voices of men who have lived through war

It is in such a place that the oaths are also forged and for Alexander the promises of the future, as if it was necessary, after having plunged into the heart of the world, to take some distance from the turmoil, to see more. clear and give yourself the opportunity to say something about it. Such will also be the quest of the writer Joan-Manuel, free but consumed with guilt. We understand then that summoning other wars and literature is not in vain, the exile of Orwell on his Scottish island or the poet Garcia Lorca, to the end of the lands of Galicia where ” the virgin looks at the sea from the door of her dwelling ”. Worms exchanged in the secrecy of captivity irrigate frail humanity in the face of barbarism, to convince themselves with Hemingway that only the living can tell what happened.

This book is a rocking boat, carried by the voices of men who have crossed the war, from the suburbs of Beirut to the ruins of Syria and far beyond. This beautiful novel transports to the shores of tumultuous oceans where the tales of another time were forged, the tales of an endless war.

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