Description

<p><b>A celebrated French bestseller, this novel in verse that captures the mundane and the beautiful, the blood and sweat, of working on the factory floor in the processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany.</b></p><p>Unable to find work in his field, <b>Joseph Ponthus</b> enlists with a temp agency and starts to pick up casual shifts in the fish processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany. Day after day he records with infinite precision the nature of work on the production line: the noise, the weariness, the dreams stolen by the repetitive nature of exhausting rituals and physical suffering. But he finds solace in a life previously lived.</p><p>Shelling prawns, he dreams of Alexandre Dumas. Pushing cattle carcasses, he recalls Apollinaire. And, in the grace of the blank spaces created by his insistent return to a new line of text – mirroring his continued return to the production line – we discover the woman he loves, the happiness of a Sunday, Pok Pok the dog, the smell of the sea.</p><p>In this celebrated French bestseller, translated by Stephanie Smee, Ponthus captures the mundane, the beautiful and the strange, writing with an elegance and humour that sit in poignant contrast with the blood and sweat of the factory floor. <i>On the Line</i> is a poet's ode to manual labour, and to the human spirit that makes it bearable.</p><p><b>Praise for <i>On the Line</i>:</b></p><p>'Poetic and political, lyrical and realistic, Joseph Ponthus' spirited elegy is at once surprising, captivating and affecting' <b><i>Télérama</i></b></p><p>'It is not every day that one witnesses the birth of a writer' <b><i>France 5 La Grande Librairie</i></b></p><p>'A work that is powerful, clever, benevolent, optimistic even. Essential reading' <b><i>Causette</i></b></p><p>'Be prepared for a battering of the senses with vivid, grisly prose' <b><i>France Magazine</i></b></p>

ISBN
9781800243965
Imprint
Apollo
Category
Fiction
Published
Pages
272
Annotation

<p>Joseph enlists with a temp agency and starts to pick up casual shifts in the fish processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany. A novel in verse that captures the mundane, the beautiful and the strange, in poignant contrast with the blood and sweat of the factory floor. </p>

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Region Excluded
AU CX CC CK FJ HM NR NC NZ NF PG SB TO TV VU WS
Quotes

'Poetic and political, lyrical and realistic, Joseph Ponthus' spirited elegy is at once surprising, captivating and affecting'

Télérama

'It is not every day that one witnesses the birth of a writer'

France 5 La Grande Librairie

'A work that is powerful, clever, benevolent, optimistic even. Essential reading'

Causette

'Be prepared for a battering of the senses with vivid, grisly prose'

France Magazine

'A lasting gift to the French – and now the English – literary landscape. You don't need to be a poetry aficionado to be stirred by the understated beauty of Ponthus's writing, and Stephanie Smee's superb translation, nor to be moved by the world that Ponthus paints and probes. A world in which the vicissitudes of factory life are illuminated with wit and wisdom, and joy can be found twinkling where you least expect it'

European Literature Network

'Writing from real-life experience, Ponthus details the drudgery, exhaustion, frustration, horror, stress, satisfaction and occasional joy found working in an industrial food factory. Using an experimental style that's half verse, half prose, he makes this refrigerated, sanitised, fluorescent-lit world feel beautiful, even romantic. I found myself dropping the book into my lap for minutes at a time just to process just how fucked-up his experience is. This is a powerful – but not preachy or guilt-tripping – window into an ugly, opaque system we're all part of'

Broadsheet

Editions
ISBN
9781800243965
Format
Hardback
Title
On the Line
ISBN
9781800243972
Format
Paperback
Title
On the Line
ISBN
9781800243989
Format
eBook
Title
On the Line
Prices
[{"currency":"GBP","amount":"16.99","countries":"GB GI AI KY MS PN TC SH GS BM IO VG FK GG JE IM"}]
Image
Format
BIC Code
DCF
Genre
Export Only
Off
Sales Points

<p>Equal parts shocking and beautiful – the bloodied and back-breaking reality of working in factories and abattoirs, told in elegant prose poetry. </p>

<p>Based on the author's own work in factories and abattoirs, and the first of the author's work translated into English.</p>

<p>The French edition, <i>A la ligne</i>, won the Grand prix RTL-Lire, the prix Régine-Deforges, the prix Eugène-Dabit and the prix Jean Amila-Meckert. </p>

<p>MARKET: <i>The Emperor's Babe</i> - Bernardine Evaristo; <i>The Golden Gate</i> - Vikram Seth; <i>The Long Take</i> - Robin Robertson; <i>Last Night's Fun</i> - Ciaran Carson; <i>Citizen</i> - Claudia Rankine; <i>History: the Home Movie</i> - Craig Raine. </p>

Measure X
130
Measure
mm
Measure Y
210
Is Primary Edition
Off