Review: The Man Who Risked It All by Laurent Gounelle

ManRisk

Another Netgalley win, The Man Who Risked It All has a fantastic premise and I was intrigued as soon as I read it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect and it didn’t go off in the direction I’d expected but was still enjoyable.

The summary:

Looking down from the Eiffel Tower, Alan Greenmor stands on the edge, determined to end it all. As he prepares to jump, his thoughts are interrupted by a cough. To his right is a mysterious man in a dark suit, smoking a cigar. This is Yves Dubreuil. The man who will change his life.     Dubreuil convinces Alan to reconsider his plans, with one caveat: instead of ending his life, he will give his life over to Dubreuil. In return, Dubreuil promises to show Alan the secrets to happiness and success.     And so, Alan embarks on a wild ride of self-discovery. From a humiliating fiasco at a Parisian bakery, to finding the strength to assert himself in his company’s boardroom, Alan learns to overcome his deepest fears and self-doubts, face life’s unexpected twists and turns, take crazy risks, and fully accept himself in the process.

This novel is very strange and I’m not sure if it was 100% enjoyable by the end. I was enjoying it, up until a point, but then it kind of went a bit off for me but not so much that I still didn’t want to know what was going to happen.

When Alan meets Dubreuil it’s nearly impossible to work out what’s going to happen. The whole situation seems to bizarre and it definitely feels like there must be more to it and of course there is. Alan is set various tasks and experiments by Dubreuil and he carries them out, however horrible and embarrassing they are. It’s hard to see the point of many of them but Alan continues regardless.

When the climax comes it’s shocking but not desperately so. From the beginning there’s the sense, as I said, that there must be more to it all and of course there is, though I can’t discuss it without saying what happens and I’m not really into spoilers if I can help it.

I felt partially invested in Alan’s character, despite him being quite blank at times, and I enjoyed the way certain elements of the novel knitted together whilst others seemed simply to be for convenience. I enjoyed reading it regardless.

Rating: ★★★½☆