How's the Pain? is an off-kilter, blackly comic novel about an unlikely duo of a soon-to-be-retired assassin and a deadbeat young man, from the 'slyly funny' [Sunday Times] Pascal Garnier.
'Deliciously dark ... painfully funny' New York Times
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.
Praise for Pascal Garnier
'At once extremely violent, irresistibly funny, and inexplicably moving, in the subtle way that only genuine art can manage to be' John Banville, New York Review of Books
'Garnier's take on the frailty of life has a bracing originality' Sunday Times
‘Small but perfectly formed darkest noir fiction told in spare, mordant prose … Recounted with disconcerting matter-of-factness, Garnier’s work is surreal and horrific in equal measure’ The Guardian
'Wonderful ... properly noir' Ian Rankin
'Garnier plunges you into a bizarre, overheated world, seething death, writing, fictions and philosophy. He’s a trippy, sleazy, sly and classy read' A. L. Kennedy
'Combines a sense of the surreal with a ruthless wit' The Observer
'Tense, strange, disconcerting and slyly funny' Sunday Times
'A brilliant exercise in grim and gripping irony, it makes you grin as well as wince' Sunday Telegraph
'A mixture of Albert Camus and JG Ballard' FT
'Bleak, often funny and never predictable' The Observer
'A master of the surreal noir thriller – Luis Buñuel meets Georges Simenon' TLS
‘A jeu d’esprit of hard-boiled symbolism, with echoes of Raymond Chandler, T.S. Eliot and the Marx Brothers’ Wall Street Journal
'Brief, brisk, ruthlessly entertaining . . . Garnier makes bleakness pleasurable' NPR
'Ennui, dislocation, alienation, estrangement – these are the colours on Garnier’s palette. His books are out there on their own: short, jagged and exhilarating' Stanley Donwood