Wednesday, 7 April 2021


[Favourite of the Month] A man who said he would never have a child discovers that he actually has one in this feelgood novel written by the multi-talented French thespian Philippe Caroit and published last november.

Hugo Talmont, a popular actor, is a self-proclaimed advocate of degrowth who doesn't want a child. Olivia, his girlfriend, just broke up with him because of her desire to have one. He tries to forget her on stage, with his best friend Mickey or in the Bois de Vincennes where he jogs. Hugo's relationship with his father, now in a care home, is a more profound reason to his refusal of paternity.

One evening, an enigmatic 18-year old teenager named Candice Montero asks Talmont for an autograph. When he meets her again some days later she tells him that she's his daughter. Her mother Lydia won't talk about it but Candice proves it's true. The problem is that Hugo can't remember Lydia Montero at all. Actor Philippe Caroit worked on stage for Robert Hossein, Jean-Claude Brialy or Jean-Luc Moreau. He played in movies helmed by Éric Rohmer or Alain Jessua. And television made him a familiar face since the 1980s.

Crime drama fans know him for Les Boeuf-carottes (1995-2001), four seasons of RIS Police scientifique (2006-2014) (1) and the semi-anthology Perfect Murders (Crimes parfaits), where he's one of the five detectives since 2017. Philippe Caroit also appeared in Joséphine, ange gardien, Magellan (Commissaire Magellan) or Murder in... (Meurtres à...). He speaks English, Italian, Spanish and even German, which allowed him to be one of the regulars of Borderland (Über die Grenze) for pubcaster Das Erste.

Philippe Caroit is also a playwright, a painter and a musician. La malédiction de l'escargot is his first novel and the author acknowledges a few similarities between the main character and himself. The great journey to happiness of Hugo and Candice is a genuine pleasure, especially in those difficult times. Hopefully Mr Caroit, a man of many talents, will write more novels and a producer will consider La malédiction de l'escargot for an adaptation.

(1) Between 2007 and 2010. 

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