Seeking Whom He May Devour
|Original title||L’Homme à l’envers|
|Publisher||Viviane Hamy (French)
Harvill Secker (English)
Published in English
|28 October 2004|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
ISBN 1-84343-090-8 (English)
|LC Class||PQ2682.A725 H63 1999|
|Preceded by||The Chalk Circle Man|
|Followed by||Have Mercy on Us All|
Seeking Whom He May Devour (French: L’Homme à l’envers, lit. "The Inside-out Man") is a crime novel by French writer Fred Vargas. The novel features her series protagonist Commissaire Adamsberg and concerns the supposed existence of werewolves in a remote French village. As with many of Vargas' novels in English translation, the English title bears no relationship to the original. In this case, it is a biblical quotation from the First Epistle of Peter (5:8): Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. The French title is more apposite, referring to an aspect of the werewolf myth that plays some part in the story, that the werewolf when in human form is wearing the wolfskin inside out. An alleged werewolf may therefore be exposed by cutting (generally fatally), when wolf-hair will be seen in the wound.
As with several of Vargas's novels, L’Homme à l’envers uses the device of imposing fearful old myths/legends into a modern setting to examine human fear and paranoia. In 2004, it became the second of her novels to be translated into English (by award-winning translator David Bellos), and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger.
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