The Reader on the 6.27 – Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

The Reader on the 6.27 is the first book of French author Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, and the author achieved great fame with this book. Even though I was stubborn that I wouldn’t read it for a long time, I couldn’t stand it and decided that it would be a great beach book and read it. And I’m so glad I read it. As I expected, the book was a great beach book. If you have certain standards in beach books, you can easily put this book in your suitcase.


The Reader on the 6.27 - Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

The Reader on the 6.27 tells the story of Guylain, a man who works in a paper recycling factory but falls in love with books. This strange man reads the pages of the books he can salvage from the machine at the factory to the passengers on the 6.27 train he boards every morning. Although he only does this for himself, most passengers have already accepted this interesting situation and are even waiting for the journey.

As life goes on like this, Guylain finds a flash disk in the train seat he always sits on. After that, life brings one of its strange miracles to his life. The Reader on the 6.27 is a fun, engaging, and easy-to-read book. I recommend it if you are looking for something to read to relax. Enjoy!

The Reader on the 6.27 - Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

The Reader on the 6.27

An irresistible French sensation – Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore meets Amelie – The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. It is sure to capture the hearts of book lovers everywhere. Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life.

Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain reads aloud. And it’s this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. A woman who feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author …

The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain’s life for the better. This captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature’s power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives. ‘The humanity of the characters …the re-enchantment of everyday life, the power of words and literature, tenderness and humour .

Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Jean-Paul Didierlaurent (born 2 March 1962) is a French writer. He is best known for the novel The Reader on the 6.27 (Le liseur du 6h27, 2014), translated into English by Ros Schwartz and published by Pan Books in 2015 (ISBN 978-1-4472-7649-4).

Didierlaurent was awarded the 2015 Cezam Prix Littéraire Inter CE for Le liseur du 6h27. Didierlaurent’s second novel Le reste de leur vie was also translated by Ros Schwarz and was published as The Rest of Their Lives by Mantle in 2017.

From an interview with the author form PanMacmillan:

Congratulations on the release of The Reader on the 6.27. In your own words what is it about and what does it mean to you?

In this novel, I wanted to highlight the invisible, the battered lives, the ordinary people who often go unnoticed; and I wanted to show that each of them could have their own unexpected story. In a society where looks have become a religion and where we judge more on appearance, I wanted to highlight our prejudices and show that the clothes do not always make the man. But this book is also a declaration of love for words and for reading. All the characters have a close relationship with words – the words they read, the words they speak and finally the words of love. These words are the real cement of the novel.

This is your first novel following two short story collections, can you tell us about the challenges faced in The Reader on the 6.27 as opposed to short stories?

As a short story writer, novels, by their size, scare me. I suffered from an inferiority complex faced with the writing of a long story, fearful of getting lost in the vastness of so many pages. At the same time, it was my frustration with the short story which pushed me to write the novel. When you create a character, when you become attached to that character and you have to give him up after only a few pages, you regret not having been able to spend more time with him, not having had the opportunity to round him out with your words, to give him more substance.

This is what happened to me with the character of the Reader, who I created a dozen years ago for a short story. This hero deserved to be more than the character in a piece of short fiction. I had given birth to him and somehow forced him onto the page. I knew that one day we would have a great adventure together.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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