Boris Vian

Boris Vian was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. He is best known for his novels, including 'L'Écume des jours' (Froth on the Daydream) and 'L'Arrache-cœur' (Heartsnatcher). His writing is celebrated for its inventive language, satirical tone, and imaginative scenarios. Vian was also influential in the French jazz scene as a trumpeter and was affiliated with the existentialist movement in post-war Paris. Despite his early death at the age of 39, Vian's work has left a lasting legacy in French literature and culture.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Froth on the daydream

    "Froth on the Daydream" is a tragic love story set in a surreal world. The protagonist is a wealthy young man who marries a woman he loves deeply. However, their bliss is short-lived when she develops a strange illness - a water lily growing in her lung. As her health deteriorates, so does their wealth and social standing, leading to a bleak and heartbreaking end. This novel is a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the harsh realities of life, all set within a fantastical and dreamlike landscape.

    The 934th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Heartsnatcher

    The novel is a surreal and satirical tale set in a bizarre town where the eccentric inhabitants live under the oppressive rule of a despotic and whimsical figure. The narrative follows the lives of the townspeople, who are subjected to absurd and often cruel whims that challenge their sanity and morality. As the story unfolds, the characters confront the absurdity of existence, the nature of love and desire, and the struggle for individual freedom against authoritarian control. The book combines elements of fantasy, dark humor, and existential philosophy, creating a unique and thought-provoking exploration of human nature and society.

    The 5210th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Red Grass

    "The Red Grass" is a surreal and philosophical novel that delves into the life of a man obsessed with creating a machine that can record and alter human memories. Set in a bizarre and shifting world that defies the constraints of time and space, the protagonist navigates through a series of existential crises and encounters with eccentric characters, all while grappling with the implications of his invention. The narrative explores themes of reality, identity, and the nature of existence, challenging the reader to question the very fabric of their perceptions and the consequences of tampering with the human mind.

    The 5220th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. I Spit On Your Graves

    The book in question is a controversial revenge novel centered around an African-American man who passes for white in a small American town. Seeking vengeance for his brother's lynching, he systematically targets and seduces white women, leading to a series of violent and sexually explicit encounters. The narrative unfolds as a brutal critique of racism and the American justice system, culminating in a shocking and grim conclusion that reflects the deep-seated racial tensions of the era. The book's graphic content and exploration of racial identity have sparked significant debate and censorship since its publication.

    The 5228th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Autumn In Peking

    The book is a surreal and satirical novel set in the fictional desert of Exopotamie, where a group of eccentric characters, including archaeologists, a seductive woman, and a variety of misfits, converge to construct a railway that leads to nowhere. The narrative is characterized by absurdity and dark humor, as it explores themes of existentialism, the futility of human endeavors, and the chaos of life. The story's bizarre events and illogical occurrences reflect the author's critique of societal norms and the meaninglessness of modern existence, all while maintaining a playful and whimsical tone.

    The 5230th Greatest Book of All Time