The Ninth Life of Louis Drax (Hardcover)

By Liz Jensen

Bloomsbury USA, 9781582345178, 240pp.

Publication Date: December 23, 2004



Coming soon as a major motion picture by Anthony Minghella, Oscar-winning director of The English Patient

Meet Louis Drax, the Amazing Accident-Prone Boy.

Louis Drax is a boy like no other. He is brilliant and strange, and every year something violent seems to happen to him. His psychologist is baffled, and his mother lives in a constant state of panic. He has always managed to survive-to land on his feet, like a cat. But cats have only nine lives, and Louis has used up eight, one for every year.

On his ninth birthday, Louis goes on a picnic with his parents and falls off a cliff. The details are shrouded in mystery. Louis's mother is shell-shocked; his father has vanished. And after some confusion Louis himself, miraculously alive but deep in a coma, arrives at Dr. Pascal Dannachet's celebrated coma clinic.

Was the fall really an accident? If anyone knows, they're not telling. Until one day, still deep within his coma, Louis meets the bandaged figure who calls himself Gustave, and begins to tell his tale...

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax is the story of a family falling apart, told in the vivid voices of its comatose son and Dr. Dannachet as he is drawn into the Draxes' circle. Full of astonishing twists and turns, this is a masterful tale of the secrets the human mind can hide.

About the Author

Liz Jensen is the acclaimed author of four novels, most recently War Crimes for the Home. She lives in London.

Praise For The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

"Liz Jensen has written a remarkable suspense novel: tart, mysterious, and wrenching."

-Anthony Minghella, director of The English Patient and Cold Mountain

"Jensen has a real gift for wickedly black humor."

"Assured, hilarious, and insightful."

"One of our best writers, sometimes surreal, sometimes down to earth, always with a great and embracing human sympathy."

"Sharp, funky, funny, and prophetic."

-Fay Weldon

"Wonderfully strange…An affecting psychological novel about transgression and the mysteries of the subconscious."

"For everybody who thought they'd never see another novel like The Lovely Bones...Disarmingly comical, absorbingly suspenseful, and finally shattering."

"Packs an irresistibly twisted wallop…An exhilarating, darkly inventive read."

"Liz Jensen has written a remarkable suspense novel: tart, mysterious and wrenching."

-Anthony Minghella

"A taut, briskly paced story that balances literature and suspense…The Ninth Life is first-rate."

"A gripping and intelligent psychological thriller filled with crafty insights, black humor and grim twists…Fresh and original."