Winner of France's Prix Goncourt award, this blend of crime, fantasy, sci-fi and thriller plumbs the mysteries surrounding a Paris-New York flight in which passengers touch down at JFK airport and enter a reality both perfectly familiar and utterly strange.
The Anomaly...lies in that exciting Venn diagram where high entertainment meets serious literature. Its plot might have been borrowed from The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, but it movingly explores urgent questions about reality, fate and free will ... It’s a measure of Le Tellier’s masterful storytelling that he makes us wait all the way to Page 151 to find out what bizarre thing has befallen the plane in question ... it’s a second measure of Le Tellier’s skill that he seduces us into caring so much, even about characters who flit in and out of sight. He has a way of plunging us headlong into each story and then dragging us out, still blinking and obsessed, before immersing us in the next ... But his writing, well served by Adriana Hunter’s graceful translation from the French, is nimble and versatile. And it’s impossible not to feel tenderness toward the bewildered characters, with their valiant efforts to make sense of the unfathomable and to rewrite their stories according to the new reality.
... pleasingly Gallic, with chapters weaving together comedy, melancholy, tragedy and a strand of noir ... No doubt you'll find yourself wondering how you would react if you were a passenger on Flight 006. Would you find your situation intolerable? Would you try to live with this new reality to the best of your ability? It is to Le Tellier's credit that these questions linger long after you turn the last page.
The Anomaly takes the narrative form of a script for a post-modern sci-fi made-for-television series. There are also elements of literary thriller and social satire. Unifying all these strands is Le Tellier’s admirable skill at keeping readers in suspense: for a long time it is not clear what this story is 'about,' yet he continues to draw us into an increasingly complex plot, which is laid out in a succession of clues and strange coincidences ... Le Tellier offers plenty of clever insights into the worlds of flawed people whose lives have now become matters of scientific curiosity ... The most absorbing aspects of The Anomaly are not generated by its complicated plot, but the world Le Tellier immerses us in. Each chapter is filled with exacting detail ... an entertaining philosophical critique, suggesting that nothing is as it seems, knowledge is imperfect, and the human predicament will perhaps always be more inexplicable than we can admit to ourselves.