The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier
On March 10, 2021, flight AF006 encounters very strong turbulence over the Atlantic. So strong in fact that the passengers and crew think their last hour has come. On board, there is David Markle–the pilot who will soon battle with an incurable case of cancer–and 239 passengers, among which are a hitman (Blake), a secret writer, an aging architect in love, his girlfriend (younger and less in love), a merciless lawyer, and so one, and so forth. The plane subsequently lands without issue at JFK. Our passengers return to their lives, deaths, failures, and break-ups…
That is until June 24, 2021 when the same flight AF006 piloted by the same David Markle asks to land at JFK. Here, we are pushed from a choral novel that chronicles the present times into an adventure novel full of suspense.
Are we truly unique? Or are we just doubles of ourselves? Characters in search of existence? This crowd of characters offers so many different opportunities for Le Tellier to explore a vast array of different literary genres: from the thriller to the intimate novel, from the love story to the bildungsroman, by way of the adventure/catastrophe novel and science fiction. Le Tellier’s virtuosity is nothing short of dazzling, as he manages to cover so much stylistic terrain while always managing to avoid theatricality and simple pastiche.
The Anomaly might be read in one sitting, like a wonderful adventure novel where the reader holds their breath between tears and laughter. If we were offered a second life or a second chance, would we have enough imagination, resources, and generosity to share our life with a double? Would we be able to start over? So many questions that Le Tellier toys with for our pleasure without ever offering a response.
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