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3 copies of celebrated French bestseller “On The Line” – BRITTANY

25th July 2021

We have 3 copies of celebrated French bestseller On the Line by Joseph Ponthus, set in BRITTANY. Translated by Stephanie Smee

UK only.

3 copies of celebrated French bestseller "On The Line"

A celebrated French bestseller, this novel in verse that captures the mundane and the beautiful, the blood and sweat, of working on the factory floor in the processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany.

Unable to find work in his field, Joseph Ponthus enlists with a temp agency and starts to pick up casual shifts in the fish processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany. Day after day he records with infinite precision the nature of work on the production line: the noise, the weariness, the dreams stolen by the repetitive nature of exhausting rituals and physical suffering. But he finds solace in a life previously lived.

Shelling prawns, he dreams of Alexandre Dumas. Pushing cattle carcasses, he recalls Apollinaire. And, in the grace of the blank spaces created by his insistent return to a new line of text – mirroring his continued return to the production line – we discover the woman he loves, the happiness of a Sunday, Pok Pok the dog, the smell of the sea.

In this celebrated French bestseller, translated by Stephanie Smee, Ponthus captures the mundane, the beautiful and the strange, writing with an elegance and humour that sit in poignant contrast with the blood and sweat of the factory floor. On the Line is a poet’s ode to manual labour, and to the human spirit that makes it bearable.

How To Enter

You must be a member of TripFiction. To join, simply go to www.tripfiction.com and scroll down to the JOIN NOW tab. We do check…

Then tell us in the COMMENTS below which title set in France has appealed to you a lot. Do this by midnight, 7th August 2021 and the first three names chosen at random will be sent a copy of the novel. UK only.

With thanks to Avneet at Head of Zeus

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  1. User: Tina Hartas

    Posted on: 11/08/2021 at 6:03 pm

    The winners:

    Katherine McDonald


  2. User: Katherine McDonald

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 8:20 pm

    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks – such a beautiful book.


  3. User: TJ12

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 8:08 pm

    Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks


  4. User: Julia321

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 5:08 pm

    I read Birdsong by Sebastian Fawlkes several years ago and enjoyed it despite the wartime theme of the book.


  5. User: Tess P

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 4:43 pm

    I took on Proust with some sense of mild terror but really enjoyed it, and it made me desperate to get back to France,


  6. User: abgopinfinity

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 12:28 pm

    I haven’t read any novels set in France but I do want to win your competition though!


  7. User: SKnightley

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 11:19 am

    Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks


  8. User: Sheena Read

    Posted on: 07/08/2021 at 10:41 am

    I haven’t read any of these books but “On The Line” sounds good.


  9. User: Jennie Stallard

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 9:22 pm

    Chocolat by Joanne Harris


  10. User: Lucy Wright-Booth

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 8:13 pm

    Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks


  11. User: Meryl Thomas

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 6:34 pm

    Madame Bovary


  12. User: Patricia Avery

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 5:55 pm

    A Week in Paris, my first but no means last book by Rachel Hore. Just couldn’t put it down!


  13. User: Tigger

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 5:43 pm

    A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle


  14. User: Edite

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 11:35 am

    Knife Gun Poison Bomb, by Martin O’Brien


  15. User: Candyfloss

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 10:11 am

    Anything set in Paris automatically appeals to me. I’m psyching myself up to read A Tale of Two Cities.


  16. User: hughese

    Posted on: 06/08/2021 at 9:42 am

    I really like the sound of a thriller with a difference, so On the Line would be perfect. I enjoy books with a French vibe and I’m just finishing off Peter May’s Enzo series, so this would be a perfect follow up.


  17. User: bopper

    Posted on: 05/08/2021 at 9:19 pm

    Smoking Kills


  18. User: keithymon

    Posted on: 05/08/2021 at 3:58 pm

    Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks


  19. User: keithymon

    Posted on: 05/08/2021 at 3:56 pm

    Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks. A magnificent book.


  20. User: keithymon

    Posted on: 05/08/2021 at 3:24 pm

    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks


  21. User: keithymon

    Posted on: 05/08/2021 at 3:20 pm

    I like Sebastian Faulks’ French series but to choose one I’ll have to say Birdsong – it made a huge impression on me when I first read it years ago and I still find myself thinking about it even now. It’s troubling and thought-provoking and really well-written.


  22. User: Pageflicker

    Posted on: 05/08/2021 at 9:41 am

    A year in Provence (loved the tv series too!)


  23. User: eshaah1

    Posted on: 04/08/2021 at 10:01 pm

    Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon


  24. User: Cat27C

    Posted on: 04/08/2021 at 8:26 pm

    I adored All Human Wisdom by Pierre Lemaitre. It was incredible! It kept me guessing the whole way through.


  25. User: JoHeinrich

    Posted on: 03/08/2021 at 8:09 pm

    Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo (translated by Frank Wynne) was an amazing read that I can’t get out of my head


  26. User: Kay Gerken

    Posted on: 03/08/2021 at 1:40 pm

    I like thrillers so for me it would have to be The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth


  27. User: JuanKerr

    Posted on: 02/08/2021 at 10:11 am

    The day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth



    Posted on: 01/08/2021 at 2:30 pm



  29. User: Sarah Parker

    Posted on: 01/08/2021 at 11:49 am

    The Paris Library


  30. User: Laura Pritchard

    Posted on: 01/08/2021 at 10:46 am

    I loved Chocolat! by Joanne Harris.


  31. User: Rich Tyler

    Posted on: 31/07/2021 at 9:54 pm

    Chocolat – Joanne Harris


  32. User: Rozws

    Posted on: 31/07/2021 at 7:59 pm

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery


  33. User: Jan22

    Posted on: 31/07/2021 at 4:49 pm

    Have Mercy on Us All by Fred Vargas


  34. User: Plumbobmummy

    Posted on: 31/07/2021 at 2:34 pm

    The Paris Library


  35. User: aspella

    Posted on: 30/07/2021 at 12:31 pm

    A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore


  36. User: Jane Orford

    Posted on: 29/07/2021 at 10:00 am



  37. User: Lisa D

    Posted on: 29/07/2021 at 6:49 am

    Summer of Reckoning by Marion Brunet.


  38. User: Ljroach

    Posted on: 28/07/2021 at 3:23 pm

    One day, I will actually pick up Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell from my bookcase and read it!


  39. User: Lisa McFall

    Posted on: 28/07/2021 at 2:51 pm

    Perfume by Patrick Suskind


  40. User: becksta75

    Posted on: 28/07/2021 at 11:31 am

    Has to be A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle – loved the TV series too.


  41. User: Heather N

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 8:36 pm

    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse – really gripping and atmospheric with great characters


  42. User: Riddler

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 8:20 pm

    Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan, which I read on a beach in the south of France


  43. User: I like reading

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 7:42 pm

    Hello, I really enjoyed ‘Piglettes’ by Clémentine Beauvais. It is about three French teenagers, who after being bullied, decide to bike ride across France.


  44. User: MrsJ2000

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 6:31 pm

    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse – set in the past and the present in Carcassonne


  45. User: Aesop58

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 5:35 pm

    Perfume by Patrick Süskind


  46. User: Amy

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 4:08 pm

    Perfume by Patrick Suskind not normally the sort of book id read but was good


  47. User: Katrina Adams

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 8:40 am

    Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned From Living In Paris. It’s a great read.


  48. User: Lowslung

    Posted on: 27/07/2021 at 6:57 am

    Perfume – Patrick Suskind
    I wasn’t sure about the book at first, but really enjoyed it – so different!


  49. User: redfox5

    Posted on: 26/07/2021 at 9:11 pm

    Chocolat by Joanne Harris. I saw the film version many years ago and have always meant to read the book!


  50. User: philatel

    Posted on: 25/07/2021 at 10:53 pm

    The Second Worst Restaurant in France – Alexander McCall Smith


  51. User: Rachel Hall

    Posted on: 25/07/2021 at 5:57 pm

    Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre. A brilliant book but my sister had been to the town where it is set (Beauval) the year before and had sent photographs so I could envisage the setting.


Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021