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 clinic.
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 himself Gustave, and begins to tell ...
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