Le Plus Grand Philosophe de France

Author Joann Sfar
Vote 5/10
Reviewed on 2018-11-24
Read in French

My friend Raphaël convinced me to read this one. The author is well-known in my circle of friends, more for his comic books than for his novels. This one tells a complex story of a man living in the age of slavery. Starting off as some charlatan philosopher together with his father, he lives quite varied adventures that will make him first a pirate, then stranded on an island with a bizarre civilization, then a messiah, until going full circle and making him a pirate again. In parallel, some nobleman from the countryside of France decides he wants to become the greatest philosopher in France, surrounded by an unfaithful wife and a lustful sister-in-law.

When I was pitched about it, what made me curious was the invention that I thought was used to develop the story. But in the end I found myself bored in a couple of points, asking myself why on Earth Sfar was going in this or that direction, and overall I didn’t think it of much value. A few brilliant narrative choices but otherwise boring.