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Apocalypse Bebe (edition 2010)
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This is a fearlessly feminist roadtrip novel, packed with atmosphere and romance. Valentine, the troubled daughter of a well-off but dysfunctional Parisian family, vanishes on her way to school. Inexperienced private detective Lucie Toledo is hired to find the missing teenager, and enlists the help of a formidable agent with a past, known to her friends as the Hyena. Their quest, from Paris to Barcelona and back, uncovers a rich cast of characters whose paths have crossed Valentine's, leading to an alarming climax. Part political thriller, part road-movie, part romance, the latest novel by subversive writer and film-maker Virginie Despentes won the Prix Renaudot 2010 for the pitiless gaze it directs at society in the age of the internet.
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