“I think the world is very lucky to have had Erwan Larher there that night…. Someone else’s story could have been a tabloid tearjerker, but Erwan humanizes and positions the Bataclan disaster as something that elevates humanity, and all of the people that were there.”
— Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X and Worst. Person. Ever.
“The Book I Didn’t Want to Write brings grace into life.”
— Philippe Jaenada, Le Monde des livres
“The Book I Didn’t Want to Write is the book that you must read, to better comprehend the epochal horror that unfolded at the Bataclan nightclub, Paris, when more than six score rock concert revellers were massacred by ISIS terrorists on November 13, 2015. A survivor of the attack, Erwan Larher uses his powers as a novelist to present a non-fiction account of the awful; to narrate fear, courage, chance, and fate; to take up the prose style of Don DeLillo and the poetic of Charles Baudelaire; and to note that ‘reality’ balks at news-cycle analyses, which are always on the outside looking in, always superficial.
“Larher is relentlessly soul-baring and truth-excavating in exploring how terrorism is both ‘individual ordeal’ and ‘collective shock,’ but also in discovering that surviving such a trauma challenged him to bear authentic witness …. Larher balances his own probing thoughts with the responses of others—friends and family who share a social tragedy that has scarred all of their lives and liberties, just as it has injured all of ours.”
— George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016–17), author of Whylah Falls and The Motorcyclist
“A perilous exercise that Erwan Larher pulls off brilliantly, dignified in his suffering, going beyond mere testimony to deliver a metaphysical reflection on death coupled with a lesson in writing.”
Amandine Schmitt, Bibliobs
“Love, that weapon against terror.”
Thierry Guichard, Le Matricule des anges