cover image The Flight of the Stork

The Flight of the Stork

Jean-Christophe Grange. Harvill Press, $25 (368pp) ISBN 978-1-86046-781-3

In Flight of the Storks, French novelist Jean-Christophe Grange's second novel to be translated into English, a young, aimless academic tracks a flock of migrating storks across Europe and Africa in hopes of discovering the truth behind the sudden death of a Swiss ornithologist. Along the way, he uncovers a series of gruesome murders and other assorted evils. Unfortunately, the book's most promising elements--the multiple foreign settings (Bulgaria, India, Israel, etc.) and stilted Euro tough-guy talk--also burden the book with pretension, rarely allowing it to rise above the level of bloodied, pseudo-philosophical exotica.