Both touchingly comical and extremely provocative, this novel deals with ennui in Quebec and the intellectual alienation of a disenchanted hero, Hervé Jodoin. Jodoin has come to Saint Joachim to work in the town’s only bookstore. The proprietor, Léon Chicoine, is a seemingly respectable man who claims to be the secret agent of free thought and liberty, keeping a collection of books for specific customers only. However, when Jodoin sells a book by a well-known, subversive author, the resulting crisis within the town involves not only Chicoine, but also the town priest and our hero’s lonely landlady. This revised edition contains both English and French versions of the critical bibliography, a list of related readings, and chapter-by-chapter questions for discussion and essays.