The Great Swindle

Lemaitre, Pierre


1918: the war on the Western Front is all but over. Two soldiers are forced together and their friendship continues in civilian life as they piece together their lives and devise a money-making scam that could make them a fortune.

Out of stock

Publish Date: 03/11/2016


Now a major French film Au revoir là-haut – Prix Goncourt-winning masterpiece by the writer who brought you Alex, Irène and Camille.

“One of the most pleasurable reading experiences of recent years” – David Mills, The Sunday Times

October 1918: the war on the Western Front is all but over. Desperate for one last chance of promotion, the ambitious Lieutenant Henri d’Aulnay Pradelle sends two scouts over the top, and secretly shoots them in the back to incite his men to heroic action once more.

And so is set in motion a series of devastating events that will inextricably bind together the fates and fortunes of Pradelle and the two soldiers who witness his crime: Albert Maillard and Édouard Péricourt.

Back in civilian life, Albert and Édouard struggle to adjust to a society whose reverence for its dead cannot quite match its resentment for those who survived. But the two soldiers conspire to enact an audacious form of revenge against the country that abandoned them to penury and despair, with a scheme to swindle the whole of France on an epic scale.

Meanwhile, believing her brother killed in action, Édouard’s sister Madeleine has married Pradelle, who is running a little scam of his own…

Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

Additional information

Weight 316 g
Dimensions 198 × 129 × 29 mm










1st paperback ed


843.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K