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La fata carabina

(Malaussène #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,019 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Intenta ad attraversare la strada con tutta la circospezione dovuta all'età avanzata, una vecchietta tremolante impugna improvvisamente una P38, prende la mira e fa secco un giovane commissario di polizia... È proprio attorno ai vecchietti che gira questo nerissimo romanzo di Pennac: vecchietti uccisi a rasoiate, vecchietti a cui la sorellina di Benjamin, Thérèse, legge la ...more
Paperback, Universale Economica #1257, 236 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Feltrinelli (first published 1987)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  6,019 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Michael Finocchiaro
The French novelist Daniel Pennac wrote 6 books in what was termed "The Malaussène Saga" about the hilarious Malaussène clan (one mother and seven children each from different fathers) and usually involving some kind of police mystery. The books are full of comedy and irony. The Carabine Fairy is the second of the series and is hilarious from what I remember. The French is well-written but accessible to those with an intermediate level (these books are also commonly read in French high schools). ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had I not been stuck on (and between) trains, with nothing else but the unappetising wares of WH Smith on offer, I probably wouldn't have got through this. I enjoyed the opening, but then wasn't particularly gripped by the 100 pages or so that followed. But, gradually and maybe even a little grudgingly, I began to realise that its quality can't really be denied. I certaintly didn't laugh till I cried, as promised by the cover, but I did find it quite witty, rather clever, and impressively (rathe ...more
Marina Sofia
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such fun - a crazy, rollercoaster ride of a read, subverting all your expectations. Even more fun if you read it while staying in the Belleville neighbourhood of Paris, where this is set. A collection of unusual characters (some pretending to be other even more intriguing characters, like Vietnamese cop Thian pretending to be Madame Ho), lots of local atmosphere, a mystery waiting to be solved. Just a really rich, colourful slice of life!
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this the second of the Belleville Quartet , The Fairy Gunmother, Benjamin is now working in the capacity of official Literary Director (unofficial scapegoat) for Vendetta Press. He has taken a prolonged leave of absence because there have been changes in his life, as well as in Belleville. The neighborhood is in an uproar because more than a half-dozen elderly grannies have been found with their wrinkled throats slit. And then, on a cold winter's night when police Inspector Vanini is hanging ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I zipped through the very delightful The Fairy Gunmother. Set in Belleville, a district of Paris where drug-runners and muggers and deliciously human characters all dwell, it is the second of a quartet of ironic and merry novels by Daniel Pennac. Ably translated by Ian Monk, this one deals with old women who go around murdering policemen and other old women, and has a voluptuous investigative journalist who is the beloved of a literary scapegoat (a chap who is hired to stand around looking depr ...more
Moushine Zahr
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th novel I've read from French author Daniel Pennac and it is the book I loved reading most. Each of the novels I've read are different in genres, styles and topic.

This title is a fiction story, which falls in the categories of crime novels, comedy, and social issues.

Readers interested in crime novels will have fun reading this book because it contains not 1, not 2, but 4 different criminal intrigues somehow magnificiently related to each other. There are police officers, whom are
Beste Kinay
This is the first book that I’ve read from Daniel Pennac and I enjoyed the story. The story gets much more interesting through the end of the book; however I don’t think I will buy another book of the same author. I didn’t like the narrative style and I don’t think reading this book contributed me much.
Amélie Gourdon
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my review of "La petite marchande de prose" for a general opinion on the series.
But I must add that this particular one is my favourite of the series so far. It might however just be because some time passed between the others I already read (all in a row) and this one. And someone I cherish could be absolutely right saying she prefers to read them spaced out. There is also something peculiar with this series: you can read it in any order, it doesn’t matter. You will still understand and won
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A French crime novel, set up like a quirky - black - comedy movie. Great characters and comments on the difficulties of modern city life. Point of view changes and surreal happenings make reading the story turn into solving a cryptic crossword puzzle.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a fun book and a nice story with many twists, but I can't rate it higher because I don't like the narration style. It's very vulgar, for lack of a better word. Don't think I'll read anything else by this author.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Paris setting that commences with a sweet old granny shooting a policeman but it subsequently becomes clear that professional scapegoat Benjamin Malaussene and the community of the Belleville Quarter are attempting to find a serial killer murdering little old ladies. A story that took a while to get going but it turned into an entertaining read; quite different, blackly funny and with a well-drawn extended family.
Georges Alexandre
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting mix of a police novel but in a distinct literary style. The plot is certainly smart and unexpected. Very well constructed and the language is certainly rich and adapted to the nature of the book. However, it would be close to impossible for a non-French or a foreigner fluent french speaker who has lived a very long time in France, to read this book as the use of slang, which renders the mood so unique and imitates a film noir is used extensively.
Jose Lito
Mar 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Complex plot, interesting characters. Three more of the novels in the Malaussene Saga have been translated into English. I plan to read those, too.
Liam Berry
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
First read this book sometime around 2003 I think, loved it at the time and after coming across a short article about the author last month decided to re-read.

Before the re-read I probably would have scored this book 5 stars and talked about how many times it made me laugh out loud. My experience of it this time was different. While it is without doubt an amusing book I think it was perhaps my age that had me rolling in the aisles at the time. With this reading I was struck much more by the way
I started out hating this story because it was such a complex read (especially since I read the french version), but after the halfway point I found myself genuinely liking the story and getting attached to the characters. I really liked how "out there" the story was. It was so random and unbelievable at times, but it was done in a comedic way that didn't make me cringe (the exasperating type of humour that makes you go "did that seriously happen? alright then if you say so". I still can't belie ...more
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pennac hits his stride with this second book in the Belleville series. It is an entertaining and humorous read following Ben and his strange family of half- siblings plus numerous hangers-on. A serial killer of elderly people is on the loose, there is corruption at high levels in the housing department and the drug squad, a detective spends most of his time disguised as an elderly Thai woman and everybody is trying to frame Ben as drug dealer, murderor and everything else.

It is the tone of the b
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery readers
This was one of the most original crime books I've ever read. Pennac has a vivid imagination and a twisted sense of humor. There were a few too many characters for my taste, but each one was rich, which I definitely appreciated. The storyline was easy enough to follow while still keeping the "mystery" in tact, the only thing that was confusing was the amount of characters that the reader has to keep tabs on. While reading, I found myself thinking, "Who is this person...? Oh, right..." But as a w ...more
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE Daniel Pennac! This was the first book of his that I read. The Malaussene series combine elements of mystery and complete absurdity. I think I love them for the same reason I love Keen Eddie so much, there is something incredibly lovely and humanity-loving about them. Also, I've found that some of his ideas, that weren't even that significant to the story, have stayed with me for a long time.
Currently reading IN FRENCH
Very very difficult for me to read and comprehend.
At least two hours per chapter.
Definitely challenging.
After reading the English version, it was interesting to note how the humour and the depiction of some characters was different.
The last six chapters were far more enjoyable!
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the Japanese translation. By far the best novel of this author that I have read. Though the details are wacky and over-the-top at times, this author has classical narrative sensibilites. His foreshadowings are never predictable but don't feel forced upon revelation. I also place him as one of the greatest dog-lovers among story tellers along with J.R. Ackerly and Mamoru Oshii.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un autre Malussène. Notre bouc émissaire est pris dans une enquête dans Belleville. Un autre plaisir à lire.
The dysfunctional family of a professional scapegoat is caught in a wide-ranging investigation in down-trodden Belleville. Beautifully written with great characters, another Malaussène success.
Angie Reisetter
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crazy book, crazy characters, way fun. I think this is actually better than the first book in the series, Au bonheur des ogres. It's a good mystery without being gory, with loveable characters. Not the stereotypical genre piece. ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
It all starts when the young policeman Vanini wants to help an old lady to cross the road covered with ice. The old woman takes her P38 and fires a shot at Vanini. Something strange is going on among the old men of Belleville. Someone is killed, someone defends himself. Thian, the inspector, disguises himself as a woman. The investigations begin.

A whimsical detective story, with humorous tone.
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this book by chance in the local bookstore and I didn't know exactly what to expect from it, since I never read anything from Pennac. The story literally enthralled me page after page! Pennac's book is an intriguing tragicommedy of a smart sense of humour and with all the elements to surprise the reader and leave him speechless.
Matt Fairhall
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this on the train to Manchester a couple of weeks ago. I liked the quirky feel of the book and the story made me laugh, love the idea of someone having a career as a professional scapegoat. Looking forward to reading more by this author.
Seth Lynch
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, french, humour
This book was brilliant fun to read, it had a lot of humour reminiscent of Léo Malet. This is book 2 of 6, only 5 in English. Soon as this Christmas business is over I'll be ordering the rest (I haven't read the first one yet)
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, france
The first several chapters seemed like a crazy mish-mash. What on earth is going on? Then finally it hits a groove and the various threads start to come together, which is not to say that there are not surprises right up to the very end. This is literature disguised as genre fiction. Loved it.
S.J. Millman
I thought this book was excellent. There was so much happening in it and I loved the complex motivations of the characters. Daniel Pennac is a brilliant storyteller that really creates colourful characters in storylines with magnificent twists!
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Daniel Pennac (real name Daniel Pennacchioni) is a French writer. He received the Prix Renaudot in 2007 for his essay Chagrin d'école.

After studying in Nice he became a teacher. He began to write for children and then wrote his book series "La Saga Malaussène", that tells the story of Benjamin Malaussène, a scapegoat, and his family in Belleville, Paris.

His writing style can be humorous and imagin

Other books in the series

Malaussène (6 books)
  • Au bonheur des ogres
  • La Petite Marchande de prose
  • Monsieur Malaussène
  • Ultime notizie dalla famiglia (Malaussène #5)
  • Aux fruits de la passion

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“Il y a ceux que le malheur effondre. Il y a ceux qui en deviennent tout rêveurs. Il y a ceux qui parlent de tout et de rien au bord de la tombe, et ça continue dans la voiture, de tout et de rien, pas même du mort, de petits propos domestiques, il y a ceux qui se suicideront après et ça ne se voit pas sur leur visage, il y a ceux qui pleurent beaucoup et cicatrisent vite, ceux qui se noyent dans les larmes qu'ils versent, il y a ceux qui sont contents, débarrassés de quelqu'un, il y a ceux qui ne peuvent plus voir le mort, ils essayent mais ils ne peuvent plus, le mort a emporté son image, il y a ceux qui voient le mort partout, ils voudraient l'effacer, ils vendent ses nippes, brûlent ses photos, déménagent, changent de continent, rebelotent avec un vivant, mais rien à faire, le mort est toujours là, dans le rétroviseur, il y a ceux qui pique-niquent au cimetière et ceux qui le contournent parce qu'ils ont une tombe creusée dans la tête, il y a ceux qui ne mangent plus, il y a ceux qui boivent, il y a ceux qui se demandent si leur chagrin est authentique ou fabriqué, il y a ceux qui se tuent au travail et ceux qui prennent enfin des vacances, il y a ceux qui trouvent la mort scandaleuse et ceux qui la trouvent naturelle avec un âge pour, des circonstances qui font que, c'est la guerre, c'est la maladie, c'est la moto, la bagnole, l'époque, la vie, il y a ceux qui trouvent que la mort c'est la vie.

Et il y a ceux qui font n'importe quoi. Qui se mettent à courrir, par exemple. À courir comme s'ils ne devaient jamais plus s'arrêter. C'est mon cas.”
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