In his comfortable funeral chamber, Jean-Robert Carouge waits for the visit of his family and friends. He knows his wife will not come. She drew their conjugal life to a close long ago, and took the children with her. Christa and Jean have grown up, drifting away from their father - this soft, ineffective man as he describes himself. Yet he hopes they will come for a last good-bye.
Jean-Robert died suddenly, hit by a bus as he was leaving the Britannia hotel where he worked as a night guard. To kill time, he wrote novels that he then read to Sophie, the hotel receptionist.
Today, Jean-Robert is convinced that life is a farce, operated by a sick mind.
What is left of an ordinary existence? A few relationships and a handful of friends and the persistent memory of a languorous dance and a failed love story… Le veilleur du Britannia is a tender yet caustic tale, a humorous and inventive reflection on eternity that blends farce with pain in its account of its characters’ banal and solitary lives.
Philippe Routier was born in 1958 in Germany. He lives in Paris since 1974. In 1983 he became an employee of the SNCF (National Railway) where he performed a multiplicity of jobs. He is now editor of the SNCF newsletter, and is the author of the celebrated Passage à niveau, a first novel that he published with Stock in 2006.