"For a statistician, he's a dreamer. He has green eyes that make him look like a number theorist, even though he has long hair like a game theorist, and wears the Trotskytizing small steel-rimmed glasses of a logician and the holey old T-shirts of an algebraist -- the one he's wearing at the moment is especially shapeless and ridiculous." (Hervé Le Tellier, The Anomaly, p. 108-109)
"As you read 'The Anomaly,' by the French author Hervé Le Tellier, you might find yourself wondering what sort of book it is, exactly. Is it science fiction dressed up as philosophy? Metaphysics disguised as high-concept thriller? Neither, both, all. 'The Anomaly,' a runaway best seller in France, where it won the Prix Goncourt last year, 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. If our lives might not be our own and we end up dying either way, how should we live?"
Philosophy? Well, maybe. The metaphysics (or maybe pataphysics) in this book makes for a very French feel, as I read it. French writers seem to always out-intellectual everyone else, even in thrillers. I'm just not sure when it comes to the urgent question about whether everything we know is just a simulation and whether we really exist. Too facile. I say it's a thriller with a bunch of amusing, self-satirizing, self-referential pretensions, but what do I know? Not as much as Sarah Lyall! My reading plan for this month was to read books about Paris and France that were written by French authors -- to look for a different point of view from the one I'm most accustomed to reading. This definitely satisfied my plan.