“A wonderfully unsettling psychological thriller … An oddly beautiful journey into the darkest corners of the human soul.”



The book opens with a very intriguing sentence: “I’m not most kids. I’m Louis Drax. Stuff happens to me that shouldn’t happen – like going on a picnic where you drown”.

Louis Drax is a 9-year-old accident-prone child. He has had near fatal accidents, every year of his 8 years.

On his 9th birthday, he falls off a cliff into a ravine, and miraculously survives to fall into a deep coma. The family is shattered. The mother is devastated and broken, and the father has disappeared.

He’s referred to a clinic in Provence, where Dr Pascal Dannachet, whois known to work wonders, tries to bring Louis back to consciousness. But the boy defies all medical logic, startling Dannachet out of his preconceived notions, and drawing him inexorably into the dark heart of Louis’ buried world. Only Louis holds the key to the mystery surrounding his fall – and he can’t communicate. Or can he?

Told alternatively between the viewpoints of Louis and Dr Dannachet, this book is intriguing and definitely a little off-beat. It is an insight into the secrets and power of the human mind.

“What do you do with the sickness in you? You can embrace it, make it part of your life. Or you can run away to the ends of the Earth, or confront your worst nightmare”.

The mind is infinitely larger than the world it inhabits. There is more to the human brain than machinery or meat.

Everyone has a Right of Disposal. If you make a choice, and it’s wrong, you have to live with it. Everyone has to live with the consequences of their choice.

What Louis Drax chooses to do with his 9th life, is ultimately the crux of this book.

Will he or will he not choose to come out of his coma?

My rating: 4/5


Reviewed by:

Ranjini Sen

Added 10th August 2017