Bar Balto by Faiza Guene

Bar Balto

Faiza Guene

Brief, but extremely perceptive, this Parisian murder mystery is told in a series of monologues. The mix of male and female characters, all different ages, are well written and range from dark and disturbing to ridiculously funny. Some speak in youth slang, which may annoy a few readers but if you can overlook the LOLs then do, because it's worth it. The plot twists throughout, leaving you unsure until the end who actually dunnit!


I heard on the radio that for two hundred thousand euros you can experience zero gravity for three minutes, a hundred kilometres above the Earth. In other words, one day soon some bloke's going to blow the money I'll spend my whole life trying to scrape together in the time it takes to smoke a fag.

  • A Empire of the Wolves by Jean-Christophe Grange
  • The Smiling School for Calvinists by Bill Duncan

Books with similar mood

The Loft

Marlen Haushofer

Bobby Dazzler

Philip Collins

Empty Words

Mario Levrero

Wolfy and the Strudelbakers

Zvi Jagendorf


Erlend Loe


Garrison Keillor

Harare North

Brian Chikwava

Family Life

Akhil Sharma


Tom Campbell

Things We Didn't See Coming

Steven Amsterdam

Adios Hemingway

Leonardo Fuentes

The Devil in Me

Christopher Fowler


Jemma Kennedy


Niall Griffiths

Crumple Zone

Nick Barlay

The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist

Emile Habiby

The Dope Priest

Nicholas Blincoe

Hand in the Fire

Hugo Hamilton

The Old Child

Jenny Erpenbeck

Beton Rouge

Simone Buchholz

Pereira Maintains

Antonio Tabucchi

Down the Rabbit Hole

Juan Pablo Villalobos

Vaclav and Lena

Haley Tanner

School for Scumbags

Danny King

Hammerhead Ranch Motel

Tim Dorsey

Fear and Trembling

Amelie Northomb

The Atmospheric Railway

Shena Mackay

Crooked Heart

Lissa Evans

You & I

Padgett Powell

This Farewell Symphony

Edmund Bealby-Wright

The Sense of an Ending

Julian Barnes

No Word from Gurb

Eduardo Mendoza

The Bank Robber Diaries

Danny King

Jonathan Unleashed

Meg Rosoff

English Slacker

Chris Morton

Ideas Above Our Station

Ian Daley (ed)

Sit-down Comedy

Malcolm Hardee and John Fleming (eds)

Devil's Island

Einar Karason


Emma Jane Unsworth

Dance by the Light of the Moon

Judith Vanistendael

Burning Worm

Carl Tighe

Bang Crunch

Neil Smith

Arlington Park

Rachel Cusk

The Mango Season

Amulya Malladi

Alpha Male

William Brandt

The High Spaces

Fiona McFarlane

The Scream

Laurent Graff

Zipper Mouth

Laurie Weeks