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Summary

From the author of the Man Booker short-listed His Bloody Project.

Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air.

When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl's disappearance, Manfred's repressed world is shaken to its core, and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past.

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

©2014 Graeme Macrae Burnet (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absorbing Tale

This is an excellent and intriguing tale. Well worth listening to; you won't regret the purchase. Whatever you do, don't skip the translator's note at the end.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Who's teasing who?


What an intriguing tease this is! For a start The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau isn’t Graeme Macrae Burnet’s follow-up to His Bloody Project (reviewed by me last year), but his first novel which never received much acclaim outside Scotland. It should have.

It’s a Simenon-esque murder mystery focused on the psychology rather than the act set in Saint-Louis, an undistinguished little town on the Rhine where loner Manfred Baumann has his lunch each day in the Restaurant de la Cloche whilst idly lusting after the amply proportioned waitress Adèle Bedeau. When Adèle disappears, the local detective suspects Manfred of murder, even though there’s as yet no body.

There are good reasons for his suspicions, but not the ones you might expect. The past lives of both Manfred and the detective are chillingly fleshed out, but just when you think it’s all about to be solved, there’s another clever twist.

And finally the real-life author comes in and says the whole story is his translation of a 1980s French cult novel by the teasingly anagramatic Raymond Brunet, and we get Brunet’s life which is uncannily like Baumann’s…

Puzzling, tantalising, intriguing, highly original, intelligent, it’s a top-rate listen, and the whole is enhanced by the narration.

41 of 47 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant and Sad

A wonderful depiction of provincial guilt. Funny, sad and, ultimately, brilliant to make the reader root for the central character. Also, I believed the French novel trope so enjoyed the joke when I found out.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story- shame about the narrator

I enjoyed the story and characters but boy the narrator spoilt it I’m afraid. He has this daft way of pronouncing words like ‘’little’ as ‘littwl, ‘bottle’ as ‘bottwl’ ???!!! it was so irritating. He’s well-spoken and has a nice tone to his voice but his pronunciation thing nearly made me abandon the story. Oh and he says ‘simi-ultaneously instead of simultaneously.

22 of 32 people found this review helpful

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More a study of character than crime

The title makes one think this will be a detective novel and though a past murder and a recent disappearance are part of the story they are peripheral to the central thrust of the story which is the psychological fragility of bank manager Manfred and his interactions with detective Gorski. Much of the text delves into their pasts and how this has shaped their personalities. This is slow-burn kind of book where understanding what motivate characters is much more important than fast-paced narrative. I was reminded of Simenon and his Maigret books.
I enjoyed this book and its more reflective style. The post script telling us about the author is most illuminating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An interesting story

This was a bit of an impulse buy and it was very different from what I expected. The real interest lies in the author's own 'back' story and the story of the book's publication.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A slow burner

I didn't realise that this was a French novel that had been made into a film and that Graeme Macrae Burnett was the translator - I had enjoyed "His Bloody Project" in a strange sort of way and thought this might be similar. It isn't, but it does have it's own charms. The protagonist, Manfred Bauman, is an unhappy young man who has a terrible secret which has blighted his whole life. The policeman, George Gorski, is a ponderous sort who looks like he will always get his man. The mix of the two is slow moving and beautifully written but maybe not as inspirationally read as it might be. It's interesting for what it is, but it wasn't one I would really recommend.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally
  • THEIL-RABIER, France
  • 24-09-18

awful and boring and dreadfully narrated

The headline sums up my feelings. I hate returning books or in the words the narrator" I got a wickle bit bored wiv this wickle stoweee so will have to abandon it wiv wee-gwet"
He may have a speech impediment, for which I am sorry, but I got the impression he was just being deliberately effete
If maybe the storwee had been weemotely interesting I might have continued, but no... When you really don't give a stuff about any of the characters it isn't worth wasting your time on it. Therre are sooo many books out there which will grab my interest. Plus when most of the time I am listening to books to get me through something boring...believe me this made me want to scream..oops skerweem
I am sorry but it nearly de-wove me insand, I kept having a go to see whether or not my intorence levels on one particular day were a bit low, but no.
Actually whether or not it really is absolutely infuriating or not I though to myself hey life's too short return it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Well written and narrated

This book manages to distinguish itself from other books of the same genre by focusing mostly on the psychology and inner thoughts of the main characters none of which are particularly sympathetic. I also enjoyed the ending which was somewhat unexpected.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator says 'wiv' constantly

He can say chapter 'THree' so I know it's possible, so why is he so lazy with his pronunciation? With constantly becomes wiv, father is farver, and 'probably' only has one B! Proberly the worst narrator ever. No mood felt and the 'suspense' which should be critical in a book like this just never appears because the narrator is duff. Story could be quite interesting, but find a narrator who knows how to speak, otherwise it's like fingers down a blackboard.