I am very fond of stories based in France in the early 20th century and this book by Gilbert Bordes did not disappoint. You can find it here on Amazon, though I found it during one of my afternoons spent happily browsing the shelves of a second-hand bookshop in Tours last summer. Set in 1903, it deals with the shocking plan to bring electricity to the small town of Cornemule in the Corrèze region of France. Valentin Lescure wants to be the mayor “qui fait briller le soleil à minuit ! ” – who makes the sun shine at midnight. This starts a panic in the town where the simple inhabitants believe the new-fangled invention will turn the animals mad and render the men of the town impotent, rumours not quashed by the doctor who hopes to benefit from this misinformation. When light comes to the town, the curtain-twitchers can now see what their naughty neighbours are getting up to in the evening and a rumpus follows.
I wholeheartedly agree with one appreciative reader who comments on the website Babelio.com: “Franchement, à mourir de rire!” -Really, a book to die laughing. I shall get it out and read it again whenever I need cheering up.
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