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Seeking Whom He May Devour (Commissaire Adamsberg #2)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,663 ratings  ·  156 reviews
In this frightening and surprising novel, the eccentric, wayward genius of Commissaire Adamsberg is pitted against the deep-rooted mysteries of one Alpine village's history and a very present problem: wolves.





Disturbing things have been happening up in the French mountains; more and more sheep are being found with their throats torn out. The evidence points to a wolf of unn
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 3rd 2008 by Vintage (first published 1996)
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Nancy Oakes
Seeking Whom He May Devour is book number two in Fred Vargas' series featuring Commissaire Adamsberg of the French police nationale, following The Chalk-Circle Man. In 2005, it was nominated for the CWA Gold Dagger Award. This novel is another one which I'd label as "crime light," and actually reminds me a great deal of Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series. There are a host of quirky characters, a bit of humor, a chief inspector who isn't anywhere close to what one would consider norma ...more
Peter Dickinson
If you were to put a gun to my head and demand that I explain exactly why I like this book or you will blow my brains out - I would have to make it through the rest of my life with a large empty space in my cranium.

Situation normal there.

I do not know why I liked SWHMD so much. Or even why I bought it. I think it was a combination of the blurb on the back cover and the atmospheric title. I seem to remember thinking that it sounded like a Hammer Horror inspired yarn and saying to myself, "Cool!".
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LJ
First Sentence: On Tuesday, four sheep were killed at Ventebrune in the French Alps.

Camille is a composer and plumber living in a small French Alp village where sheep are being killer by an unseen beast. The murder of a townswoman raises suspicion of a werewolf. Residents begin to suspect Massart, a loner who came to the area 20 year ago and has now disappeared. The woman’s adopted son and an old shepherd convince Camille to be their driver as they search for Massat. When they find the search im
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Trin
Dull dull dull mystery about a female film editor/plumber and two local sheep farmers/eccentrics pursuing a murderous “werewolf” across the French countryside. The werewolf’s on foot, and the three of them are in a rickety old truck repurposed from transporting sheep, so the chase is about as high-speed and exciting as being stuck behind a farm vehicle on a narrow road. I just did not get this book at all. The characters had all these weird traits—one of the shepherds is obsessed with definition ...more
Tracey Mathias
I really liked a lot of things about this book. Eccentric and well drawn characters, marvellous sense of place, the ancient menace of wolves / wolf men made modern. Wasn't sure about the translation though. I think it was trying to keep a French idiom but it just ended up sounding a bit clunky and awkward (eg frequent use of old chap: I guess as a translation of mon vieux, but the overtones in English are just wrong...) There's a wonderful description of the policeman's instinctive, free, creati ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Fred Vargas' "Have Mercy on us All" got me hooked on her Columbo-esque detective, Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg. This outing concentrates more with his sometime lover, Camille, who we catch up with in the sheeprearing country of les Alpes de Haute Provence. She has joined her new partner, a Canadian filming a documentary on wolves that have made their way out of the wild and are presumed to be savaging the sheep population, but when humans start dying, superstitions are raised that a werewolf is respo ...more
Arwen56
Non esaltante, ma sicuramente ancora molto gradevole questa prova della Vargas, che tenta di coniugare il suo personale universo narrativo con trame gialle più classiche (questo "lupo" rammenta molto il "mastino" di Sherlock Holmes).

Prima dello "scivolone" che ha fatto col suo ultimo romanzo in ordine cronologico ("Un luogo incerto"), ritroviamo qui i personaggi che l'hanno fatta amare da tutti i suoi affezionati lettori, personaggi che non sono reali, in verità, ma che coinvolgono e rassicurano
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Patrick
I don't know why the image is of a different book. I am reviewing "Seeking Whom He Mat Devour."

Which is terrific. Fred Vargas is a woman, incidentally.

In the southeast corner of France sheep are getting attacked by some kind of monstrous wolf. The villagers get it into their heads that the responsible party is a) not just any old wolf, but a werewolf and b) the lycanthrope is a local weirdo who lives alone way the hell up in the mountains and works in the local slaughterhouse.

So Camille and Sol
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Irena
This is an atypical detective story with an atypical detective. The crime-related plot is unexpected enough, probably even a bit too complex to be realistic, but I enjoyed this book for the beauty of writing and intricate portrayal of its unique characters -- not something you would normally expect from a mystery novel, but it's what makes Fred Vargas's books stand out from the crowd. If you're only after a hard-boiled action, get another book.
Sean
Apr 18, 2008 Sean rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sean by: Cecily
I wouldn't envy any translator the job of rendering Vargas's heavily idiosyncratic language in English, but I still cannot get behind the choices David Bellos made here. The playfulness of the French has become a stilted, embarrassing mishmash that retains none of the original musicality and tone. Unfortunately, the story is not this novel's strong point, and both the characterization and the characters' unique voices are wrecked by the translation, so there's really no reason to read this in En ...more
Jon Frum
This is my third Adamsberg book, having started in the middle, and then gone back to numbers one and two. I saw that one reviewer trashed the translation - putting that issue aside, we monolinguists can only review the translation and hope for the best.

Given that Vargas is a quite good writer, for me, this book suffered from a decision made during the construction of the story. All such detective mystery stories suffer when their central character is off-screen (or off-page, in this case). Comm
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Gemma
This was recommended to me by a friend who greatly enjoys Vargas' works and thought I would enjoy it too, largely because of the mysterious, slightly supernatural werewolf aspect.

In sum, I enjoyed reading it and finished but I wasn't thrilled as I thought I'd be. To be fair, this is a quieter, light crime mystery (as some have well described it) that focuses more on the characters involved than the actual crime. The plot moves, but gradually, and is largely based on dialogue and reflection.

Now
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Alyssa
I feel like I need to say something about that low rating I gave to this book.

I guess it's not bad on its own, but compared to the previous books from Vargas, it was different, not necessarily into a good way. The writing style in particular felt really different. You still feel Vargas' hand, but that way to give some characters some kind of accent from this or that region/country by making them say one particular expression or way of speech all the time (literally all the time, like every two s
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???!!!
I'm a little disappointed reading this book from one of my favorite authors. This one doesn't quite fit into her usual writing style. Perhaps Vargas wanted to try something different, using one of her previous sub characters as the leading character through out the better half of the book. Hence, for me , couldn't bring myself into the the story, a little into farce really. I couldn't really finish the book. This is my fifths Adamsburg series. I didn't read them in sequence. With the previous fo ...more
Anca
I assumed I would not like this book, since "monster" books don't appeal. But it was a good deal at Oxfam in Cambridge, and I wasn't finding anything else appealing, so I bought it (plus the author, a woman in fact, is a professor of archaeology, so I thought I might learn something). What a nice surprise! Well-rounded, interesting characters, intelligently and sympathetically drawn, and a great mystery. The book is very well-written. I'll definitely look for more of her books. I'd definitely re ...more
*Rigel
{ NB : Se vuoi leggere l'articolo completo su Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg clicca qui: L'Indagatore del Mondo che Fluttua. Grazie :) }
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description

«1996. Francia, Parigi: la culla dei sognatori senza speranza. Parigi, la città di pietra, in grado di restituire il mondo minerale a chi ha trascorso la sua vita sulle montagne. Parigi, la città delle luci, con la sua bellezza imperitura, la sua arte e i suoi boulevard interminabili, pervasa dal profumo di pane fresco, di carta e di fumo.»

«[...]Osservando Jean-Ba
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Sarah
L'histoire commence lentement. Très lentement. Et elle se poursuit ainsi presque jusqu'au bout.

Au début, on est tout de même pris par le suspens; on se demande qui est l'assassin, pourquoi il tue, etc. Mais très vite, l'histoire devient endormante et l'identité de l'assassin semble évidente.
Ce dernier a d'ailleurs pris la fuite et trois personnages se lancent à sa poursuite... Et malgré cela, l'histoire reste toujours ennuyeuse. Il n'y a aucune surprise, aucune action.

Les dialogues sont très rép
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Michelle L
This is a hypnotic tale, twisty, full of sudden suspicions and equally sudden distractions so those suspicions fracture almost as soon as they occur.
An unfamiliar setting with unusual characters makes it all the more an exotic read: the southeast of France, in a national park dotted with villages of practical yet superstitious inhabitants, a protected family of wolves being observed by park rangers and a visiting Canadian naturalist, a simian-like local who disappears as a series of bloody att
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William
This second book in the Commissaire Adamsberg series fell short of the first one for me. It takes a very long time to take off as a story, but that may be because the idea of werewolves holds absolutely no interest for me.

Somehow I did not stop reading, and the second half is a great deal more engaging. It takes quite a while for the story to involve Adamsberg, and when it does, it becomes a lot more interesting. An additional difficulty is that the story occurs for the most part in small villa
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Sonia
E' diverso.
Per chi come me ha già letto Chi è morto alzi la mano, Io sono il tenebroso, Parti in fretta e non tornare, Sotto i venti di nettuno, L'uomo dei cerchi azzurri (insomma per chi ha già letto quasi tutta Vargas) si trova davanti ad una storia diversa.
Protagonista è il giallo.
Protagonista è Camille.
Una svolta! Il giallo finora con i suoi colpi di scena era stato un "pretesto" per parlarci dei suoi personaggi, ma ora invece è lo sfondo della storia, è tutta la storia.
E Camille non ce
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Oskari
Ihmissusiteemalla pahasti hakoteille houkutellut Kuriton mies nurin on väsyttävän huono. Susimyyttiä, mytologiaa, fantasiaa, kauhua tai muuta outoutta siitä ei löydy loppujen lopuksi juuri lainkaan ja dekkarina se on niin valju, että mikäli se kuvaa yhtään kirjailijan muuta tuotantoa täytyy ihan tosissaan ihmetellä millä meriiteillä näitä Adamsberg kirjoja myydään. Gevaudanin peto mainitaan ohimennen yhden kerran, mikä pettymys! Mikä hukattu mahdollisuus! Tämä on sarjan toinen osa, mutta lukemin ...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: On Tuesday, four sheep were killed at Ventebrune in the French Alps.

A small mountain village in the French Alps awakens each morning to the grisly sight of yet more sheep with their throats torn out. A local insists that it's the work of a werewolf, and when she is found killed in the same manner, people begin to wonder if she was right.

Soon an unlikely little group forms of the murdered woman's son, one of her shepherds, and her friend Camille. They've decided that a local eccentri
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Spock
Secondo libro che leggo della Vargas con il commissario Adamsberg come protagonista. La storia anche in questo caso si compone di una trama principale (una serie di uccisioni di lupi e umani) nel Mercantour - regione appena al di la del confine italiano - e una secondaria (a Parigi il commissario perseguitato da una ragazza che vuole vendicarsi a pistolettate). Complice la presenza nella regione alpina di una vecchia fiamma del commissario le due storie si uniranno.
Il responsabile dell'eccidio o
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Stevedutch
Whether any or most of the blame can be laid at the feet of the translator Heaven only knows but this has to be one of the most irritating books I’ve ever read. It’s liberally sprinkled with clichéd Hollywood terms, like referring to the police as ‘flics’, not to mention clichéd characters with clichéd attitudes: when Vargas does try to invest a character with a degree of originality she renders them unconvincingly: the, naturally intelligent and astonishingly beautiful, female love interest, a ...more
Sean
Apr 18, 2008 Sean rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sean by: Thorn
Just started this. I haven't read a book in French in a couple years--not since Japrisot's Un long dimanche de fiançailles . Possible plus: this is a high school ("collège") edition, with reading questions after each section (will help me stay on track!) and definitions of the harder words. Possible minus: there are reading questions after each section (talk about annoying), and the text defines words I already know (such as "précepte") instead of ones I don't/didn't (such as "déchiqueté"). Plus ...more
Spuddie
#2 in the Chief Inspector Adamsberg series set in France. A large wolf is killing sheep in the mountains of France, and when Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg hears about it on the news, his interest is piqued, as he grew up in the Pyrenees and is familiar with wolf lore. When a woman is killed in her sheep barn, supposedly by the same wolf, his interest heightens, as he knows wolves don't typically attack humans. When he notices his lost love, Camille, on the news report in the village where the attack t ...more
Andy Weston
The very mention of a werewolf on a jacket note or a review gets me hooked (Duncan's The Last Werewolf and Reynold's High Moor), and having enjoyed Vargas's previous offering An Uncertain Place this had been on my list for a while.

Certainly I learnt some new werewolf facts, that for example, they have hairless skin on the outside and hairs on the inside. But on this occasion Vargas disappointed overall.

As a romp through the French countryside the book stands up well. The backgrounds are magnif
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Mei
I found this book a little more hard-going than the other Fred Vargas books I had read to date, namely The Three Evangelists and Have Mercy On Us All. This is the second Adamsberg book which I have read. It starts off rather slowly, with his on-off love interest, Camille, and the story of a series of murders which appear to have been committed by a wild wolf in the French countryside. I think, or mountains. Or somewhere that is not Paris, anyway (my geography is a little hazy). I found this a li ...more
Kate
After reading the most recent book by this popular French author, I went back to read the first book in the series. I find the main character unusual and most endearing, in somewhat the same way Donna Leon's Inspector is.

The story line could be grim and almost fantastic as a series of sheep killings multiply and include humans, giving rise to a rumor of a werewolf in this rural area of the Alps. A very human and disparate trio set out to track down the man they believe is responsible, and fortun
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_incubus
ovviamente mica potevo abbandonare adamsberg.. dopo un po' ne senti la mancanza, come i biscotti di natale alla cannella *-* (scusate ma oggi ho addentato il primo della stagione con gli occhi che sbrilluccicavano)....
Certo leggi il libro e capisci.. c'è qualcosa che non va.. ok che stanno dando la caccia ad un assassino ma.. non è normale che sappiamo già chi è, anche se nel caso in questione era un lupo mannaro che sgozzava le vittime.. nono non è normale..
e infatti alla fine arriva il duro co
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68906
Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of the French historian, archaeologist and writer Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau (often mistakenly spelled "Audouin-Rouzeau"). She is the daughter of Philippe Audoin(-Rouzeau), a surrealist writer who was close to André Breton, and the sister of the historian Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, a noted specialist of the First World War who inspired her the character of Lucien Devernoi ...more
More about Fred Vargas...
L'homme aux cercles bleus (Commissaire Adamsberg, #1) Have Mercy on Us All (Commissaire Adamsberg, #4) The Three Evangelists (Three Evangelists, #1) Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg, #6) Dans les bois éternels (Commissaire Adamsberg, #7)

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