From the book jacket:
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 constant 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' 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
Was the fall a mere accident? If anyone knows, they're not telling. Until
one day, still deep within his coma, Louis meets the bandaged figure who calls
Beyond the Book
Liz Jensen has written four books before this, but
she describes The Ninth Life
as her first 'grown up' book.
Egg Dancing (1996): 'Yes, the story is often overwhelmed by delusions,
hallucinations and trips through altered reality. But Jensen has a real
gift for wickedly black humor - and enough stylistic panache to hold a
reader's attention firmly through the thicket of her excesses.'
- Ark Baby (UK 1998, US 1999): 'Strained would-be satire, with its intellectual
and narrative punch diluted by very obvious foreshadowing.' (Kirkus
- Paper Eater (2000 in UK, apparently...