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February 14, 2018


Lemaitre: Couleurs de l’incendie

by NancyElin



  1. Theme:   morality of revenge …when is revenge justified?
  2. Plot: Main character (Madeleine) has been wronged and becomes obsessed by revenge.
  3. Classic elements: disguise, deception and ‘framing’ victim with false evidence
  4. Arch-types:
  5. Madeline: The Mistreated Villain:
  6. A character who does things which the audience perceives as wicked,
  7. ….but only because he has been driven to them by the way she has been treated.
  8. Gustave: The Flawed Ruler:
  9. This powerful man with a flaw which causes his downfall.
  10. Paul: The Innocent Babe:
  11. The babe is often a victim of malignancy and
  12. …is the trigger for the revenge played out in the plot.
  13. M. Dupré: The Sidekick/The Clever ‘fixer’:
  14. The friend who helps main character carry out her Machiavellian plans.



  1. This book is the second in Lemaitre’s new trilogy.
  2. The first book Au revoir là-haut was  dazzling!
  3. The film version has just been nominated for 13 Caesars (French Oscars)
  4. If you haven’t read it….then put it on your TBR!
  5. With regards to Couleurs de l’incendie
  6. left me wanting.
  7. It was missing something:
  8. the magical, lyrical text (1st book ‘clever scam’)
  9. no dramatic dialogue:  heated rhythmic dispute to create a powerful effect.
  10. (1st book: Alfred and Edward were always arguing)
  11. In Couleurs de l’incendie …it was all ‘comme il faut’. 
  12. Lemaitre uses ‘breaking The fourth wall only a few times.
  13. This is the imaginary wall that separates
  14. …the readers from the characters in the story.
  15. Perhaps he could have done that more often to draw ‘this reader’
  16. into the book.
  17. I read this book,  but I was not ‘swept off my feet’ .
  18. I hope we will see more of his thrillers (polars) in the future.
  19. That is Pierre Lemaitre’s  strongest genre.


Last thoughts:

BOOK: disappointing:
ALTHOUGH TEMPTED – Bien que tentée
AFTER HAVING HEARD – après avoir entendu ( after hearing…)
A REVIEW – une critique littéraire,
A READING OF THE BOOK – la lecture de ce livre
FINALLY DISAPPOINTED ME – m’a finalement déçue

Rien à voir avec  (nothing like….)

Au-revoir là haut. Dommage !


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 14 2018

    Oh well, still good practice reading in French!

    • Feb 14 2018

      Wonderful practice!
      Aller ne pas avec le dos de la cuiller – to be candid, direct – ‘he doesn’t pull any punches.”
      Tout allait de mal à pis – Everything went from bad to worse.
      Barre-toi! – Clear off…get out of here!

  2. Mar 4 2018

    Au revoir là-haut: Je ne m’en lasse pas.
    Couleurs de l’incendie: j’ai calé en cours de lecture…trop ennuyeux.
    On se doute bien qu’il m’a fallu courage pour lire.
    Abandonner ? Jamais…. “Book is still….good.”
    Il mériterait de ne pas tomber dans un complet oubli. 🙂


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