Xujin, in the “Routine chaos of the fifty-nine children of the refuge”, is an element of stability, of authority. She is the head educator in this place where children arrive, adolescents who have been delivered to prostitution, sold, kidnapped by pedophile networks. In this lost corner which could be located somewhere in China, in Inner Mongolia, we tolerate them. They fill, on their own scale, the gaps left by a power which prefers to ignore the problem, or even, with a certain corruption helping, to tolerate it locally. There are all ages, from toddlers in diapers to young adults. Under the loving but firm authority of Mama Love, so named after the inscriptions on her T-shirts, Xujin runs the house, settles disputes, talks and listens. But she has something special: dreams, which she remembers vividly, from which she can sometimes come out at will. She is not far from being able to direct them, access the “Lucid dream”, induced in the standby state.
Removal sentences quantified in kilometers
In the lowlands of a large city in the region, Esad, in his twenties, and already a past that makes him an outcast. We understand that he had to flee Russia for some mischief about which nothing was said at the beginning. In the universe of the novel, delinquents are condemned to distance sentences quantified in kilometers. One of them proudly sports the number 2743 tattooed on his forehead. In the meantime, who knows what, Esad hangs out in the area, witnesses dogfights – we can eat the loser – and everything that the city offers more gloomy in terms of trafficking of all kinds, before leaving it, we don’t know why, guided by a “Fixer” with equivocal behavior.
Between these two worlds, sometimes unexpectedly appears Os de Tigre, an invincible old shaman of the screen age. She infallibly identifies pimps or pedophile clients, and punishes them, ruthlessly, before releasing the child.
Tiger, Éric Richer’s second novel, offers us a world that is reminiscent of rust, his impressive entry into literature. We find there his taste for margins, wasteland, his way of staging wrecks that an energy from who knows where to stand. And also a way of his own to mount situations that only a climax can resolve.
We quickly understand that Esad is not running away, but is looking for someone: Tiger, a “Trick who in him insist “,and which gives its title to the novel. Tiger Bone does not have this name by chance. We even suspect that the paths of Xujin and Esad will cross. But if Éric Richer sows, as the story progresses, all the elements that allow the reader to reconstruct the logic that animates it, he succeeds in keeping the novel its enigmatic character. The reader therefore remains suspended throughout this fantastic trashy tale, until the unpredictable and luminous ending.