1903, and Captain Lalande Biran, overseeing a garrison on the banks of the Congo, has an ambition: to amass a fortune and return to the literary cafés of Paris.
His glamorous wife Christine has a further ambition: to own seven houses in France, a house for every year he has been abroad.
At the Captain’s side are an ex-legionnaire womaniser, and a servile, treacherous man who dreams of running a brothel. At their hands the jungle is transformed into a wild circus of human ambition and absurdity. But everything changes with the arrival of a new officer and brilliant marksman: the enigmatic Chrysostome Liège.
A dark comedy about the vanity of human desires which deftly balances compassion and cynicism
Bizarrely funny and beautifully crafted
A brilliantly inventive writer...He understands the nature of storytelling and is at once terribly moving and wildly funny
Seven Houses in France is an enjoyable, somewhat frightening novel by one of Europe's best novelists... Atxaga is still the master of a complex story, told with deceptive simplicity