Book review: Where I Left My Soul, By Jerome Ferrari


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The Independent Culture

When Jerome Ferrari's story was first published in 2010, it scooped a clutch of major French awards.

Elegantly translated by Geoffrey Strachan, this sombre novella is set mainly in the mid-1950s during the Algerian war, but looks back to France's defeat in Indochina. Captain André Degorce is first brutalised by the Nazis, but in later years interned by the Viet Minh.

During this period, he wins the admiration of Horace Andreani. Both veterans are reunited in Algiers, this time in the role of ruthless torturers: a chilling examination of the effects of violence on victims, and perpetrators.