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Il paradiso degli orchi

(Malaussène #1)

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  9,000 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Un eroe, Malaussène, che come lavoro fa il "capro espiatorio". Una famiglia disneyana, senza mamme e babbi, con fratellini geniali, sorelle sensitive, una "zia" maschio protettrice di vecchietti, ladri e travestiti brasiliani, una "zia" femmina super-sexy, ritratto irresistibile del giornalismo alla Actuel, una misteriosa guardia notturna serba e un cane epilettico. Questa ...more
Paperback, Universale Economica #1210, 202 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Feltrinelli (first published May 2nd 1985)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
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Mark Jaroski
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This first book in the Malausène series is just a little rough around the edges, and better for it, or at least much funnier. There's an absurd and delightful humour which although not exactly missing is considerably toned down or darkened in the rest of the series.

As a student of French this book is invaluable: Pennac's vocabulary covers the entire range from the Molière to the gutter. Think Mark Twain, but 100 years later and French.
lethe
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to lethe by: Olea
I was amazed to see this book was published over 30 years ago (the French original; the Dutch translation followed 9 years later). In 1985, we were still young and pretty, 9/11 hadn't happened yet, there was no world-wide web, no social media, not everyone and their mother had a mobile phone, and the Berlin Wall was still standing. In short, a very different society. And yet, somehow this book felt very current.

Benjamin Malaussène works as a scapegoat in a department store. Whenever a customer h
...more
Writerlibrarian
You will never ever forget your first contact with the Malaussene family. Never. From le Petit (the youngest boy of this rag tag family of misfits) to the latest baby named Verdun because she doesn't just yell she howls like the bombs at the battle of Verdun, to Clara, sweet Clara to Benjamin who heads the family because he isn't really given the choice and makes due and because it's in his nature to be the scapegoat for everyone, his family included.

This first novel featuring the Malaussene fa
...more
Yelizaveta
I finished this book and immidiately went and watched the movie. THAT'S how much I loved it (movie, not so much, but. just two words. Raphaël Personnaz. oh my gosh. now that's five words. i don't care).
It's absolutely my kind of absurd, and the humor is just up my alley. I wasn't exactly pleased with the Russian translation, but since I don't know French, I decided to go for it instead of an English translation - and maybe I should have read it in English anyway. Maybe I will, because at some po
...more
Angeles
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where all starts, Daniel Pennac has written an amazing saga around the very unusual Malaussene family. I couldn't recommend his work more, all of it. This saga was ahead of time in terms of looking into issues like terrorism, diversity, family models.. And his approach is humorous, candid, wise and humane. His skill to develop plots around crimes makes him a great master at offering the reader suspense and yet hide it with so much humour and loving characters, that you feel you are readi ...more
Trang Tran (Bookidote)
I didnt finish the book and I couldnt.. the humor was fun at the beginning but in the end it just gets boring and I couldnt see the point of finishing it . It wasnt my style
Tosh
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Modern French noir, with multi-cultural aspects to it.
I really like the novels of Daniel Pennac, well, at least the one's I have read. I think he's one of France's top crime writers - and what makes him great is that he writes stories that take place in the multi-cultural Paris.

Scrapegoat' main character works at a department store and is basically used as the guy who pretends to mess things up - so the boss can call him in front of a customer to chew him out. Which usually leaves the customer feeling really bad about complaining in the first place
...more
Lucia Caporalini
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have admired Pennac for YEARS because he's such a lovely, funny man. My French teacher was absolutely obsessed with him and she used to show us a lot of his interviews. I've finally managed to get my hands on a Pennac book in these days, and I loved it! It's exactly like I expected it to be, original, funny, extremely surreal, with an absurd number of grotesque characters...I can't wait to read the other stories!
Raluca Anghel
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fresh and succulent vocabulary! I read it in Romanian and I can't wait to put my hands on the English and French versions. Pennac is a wizard of language, and the translator invented so many words, it's better than a fireworks show. But then, even the author said somewhere in the novel:
"La spontanéité, ça s’éduque."
Sven
May 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
No idea what this was about.
Rares Hudac
Kind of bad, and really not what I expected. It was trying to be funny, but not really succeeding in doing so.
Maybe because it's translated (romanian), most of the text is incomprehensible, and when it's actualy readable, it lacks in actual action, having put the accent on metaphors and analogies and other stuff like these.
John
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, bibliotheque
A quite funny book in which it's hard not to sympathise with the main character, Ben, whose life really is difficult - his mother ran off from the family with another husband, leaving him to look after his 4 younger siblings, his love life is based around seducing shoplifters, and at work at the department store bombs keep going off in his face. He says "I must have a gift." However as the story proceeds Ben's skill at managing his family, his epileptic dog, his employers, and the bombs, shows i ...more
Jim
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Malaussene's title in a Paris store is "Quality Controller" but his true function is that of a scapegoat or even a saint. Whenever a customer came to the store with a grievance, Malaussene was summoned to the Customer Complaints' office, where he was given a complete and utter bollocking in front of the disgruntled customer, who would often withdraw their complaint as a result.
When a series of bombs explode in the store suspicion falls on Malaussene who hasn't a clue why anyone should be bombin
...more
Hboyd
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable whodunnit. This is a cute, funny, heart-warming tale although it has some dark nooks and crannies - touching on themes such as WW2, murder of children, explosions and emotional abandonment. Pennac keeps a light touch on the balance, meaning that the darkness is rendered poignant by the light. And there is a good deal of light too. The Malaussene family is a tight-knit tribe that stick together though thick and thin alongside Julius the dog ("le klebs"), Theo and his orignial outfi ...more
Davidg
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second visit to the world of the Malaussene family and back to the start of the series.

Benjamin takes the blame for everything that goes wrong at work, is responsible for all his many (half) brothers and sisters, worries about all his friends and lives in Belleville amongst all cultures, all lifestyles, not all of which are on the right side of the law. And things happen around him about which he has no control. Suspected of bombing the store in which he works, he lurches from one disaster t
...more
Alice
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was lent me by a French friend. I found it hard to get into and a little baffling - when is this set? Is it meant to be funny? Is it meant to be realistic? - then everything began to tie together and I read right through to the end, hooked on the adventures of Benjamin, his five half-siblings and Julius the dog as they try to work out who keeps letting off bombs at the department store, and why.
Donato
Nov 10, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm reading the Italian translation!
Jennifer
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really fantastic. what a good writer - lots of wit, very funny, and a creative storyline. i can't wait to read the next one!
Pascale
A funny story about the mishaps of a department store customer service employee.
Elizabeth
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, france, wwii
This is a very unusual story with very original characters and what seemed liked a wandering plot at times. But I finally began to weave the threads together into a cohesive tale. I enjoyed it all.
Alfonso González
Super funny, well written, excellent book. Way better than the movie
Artūrs Lūsis
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best
Ātri paņēma, ātri izrāvu. A truly wonderful read, passionate, funny, heartbreaking at times, with a life-affirming spin, & a detective-thriller feel to it at that ...more
Catarina
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It starts a little weird honestly, but you just have to keep going and you'll understand the book and the family story, which prepares you for the next book.
Adriano Koehler
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Funny, clever, sarcastic and full of hope.
Quince Winstyn
Too strange to say very much...
Charlotte Marillet
Loved the book! A lot of sarcasm with an interesting dark plot and extravagant but lovable characters!
Sandi
A very different but engaging French mystery with a quirky plot, unique characters, and humor.
Simo
Very confused. I still don't know if I enjoyed it or not!
Muriel Teeter
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome and deliciously written
Jeremy
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The greatest appeal of this book is the droll non-stop commentary of the first-person narrator on everything that happens -- he is super clever and dryly disposed to irony, while still remaining plausible and relatable as a character. These points of cleverness are extra satisfying if you are deciphering them in a language that is not your own...

Certain aspects of the set-up are somewhat confusing--like his family situation. The plot, too, is a little bit random and contrived, and ends rather un
...more
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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
...more

Other books in the series

Malaussène (6 books)
  • La fata carabina (Malaussène #2)
  • La Petite Marchande de prose
  • Monsieur Malaussène
  • Ultime notizie dalla famiglia (Malaussène #5)
  • Aux fruits de la passion

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