LOUISE PENNY’S

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Three Pines Series Discussion

Three Pines Series

Based on Louise Penny’s #1 New York Times bestselling novels, “Three Pines” from Amazon Prime Video and Left Bank Pictures stars Alfred Molina as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, a man who sees things that others do not: the light between the cracks, the mythic in the mundane, and the evil in the seemingly ordinary. 

Discuss the series with other Louise Penny fans here! 

DISCUSSION ON THREE PINES

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The Annotated Three Pines – A World of Curiosities

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Gamache Goes Abroad: The Madness of Crowds

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For The Madness of Crowd’s installment into our Gamache Goes Abroad series, we travel to the UK, where our publishing colleagues have interpreted Louise’s 17th novel with a very different cover treatment from our own.

It would be impossible not to notice the difference in use of color between these two covers. While our version is a veritable explosion of hues, the UK’s cover is much more subdued, employing a grayscale color palette with pops of red. While our cover is more abstract, the UK’s depicts the recognizable scene of a car driving on a secluded road in the darkness of winter.

However, for all of the differences between the two, there’s a thematic similarity. In the US cover, the brushstrokes of bright color appear to be emanating out from the pine tree. Or instead, are they reflecting in? The same question can be posed of the car on the UK’s cover. Is it driving towards Three Pines? Or is it driving away from it?

What do you think? Which of these two very different cover treatments do you think best depicts the plot of the novel?

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Gamache Goes Abroad: All The Devils Are Here

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In All the Devils Are Here, we find our Chief Inspector in the City of Lights. While the book is not currently being published in France, it would be remiss for us not to feature the edition made by our French-speaking amis at Flammarion Quebec.

There are many similarities to find between these two jackets. In fact, they’re almost identical: both prominently feature the Eiffel Tower – la tour Eiffel – along with the vibrant swirls of light and dark blue in the night sky.

Where the two designs diverge is the text treatment. The US version uses a teal blue color for the title, leaving Louise Penny’s name in white. The French Canadian cover also uses white for Louise’s name, but places the book’s title in a thin black font with a white background. And while the US spaces out the title and author name across the full length of the book jacket, Flammarion’s text only takes up about the top half of the image, leaving the entire bottom half of the Eiffel Tower in clear view.

What do you think? If you were a book jacket deisgner, how would you highlight the French setting of All the Devils Are Here?

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Postcards from Three Pines: A World of Curiosities

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Cultural Inspirations From Three Pines: The Madness of Crowds

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Scattering the black sunflower seeds on the white snow, he watched the birds swoop down and pick them up. He went inside then, lit the fire, made a pot of tea, and opened the book Colette had lent him.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
He settled in, and read about the South Sea bubble, and the tulip crisis, and the Drummer of Tedworth.
The birds still shrieked, of course. But now it sounded more like company. (The Madness of Crowds
, page 426)

Charles Mackay’s Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, first published in 1841, is perhaps the most well-known work by the Scottish author – who was also a poet, a journalist, and a songwriter during his lifetime.

Charles Mackay

Published in three volumes – “National Delusions,” “Peculiar Follies,” and “Philosophical Delusions” – Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds was an early study of crowd psychology. The book tackles economic bubbles, including The South Sea Bubble, considered the world’s first economic crash. In fact, in her acknowledgements, Louise mentions that the book is often suggested reading for finance professionals, because “so much of what they deal with is ‘smoke and mirrors.’ Perception rather than reality. And how perception can shape and actually become reality.”

For those of us who might not be aspiring stockbrokers or economists, Mackay also debunks crusades, witch hunts, and alchemy, among other “follies and delusions.”

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Louise is not the only author to have been inspired by Charles Mackay’s book since it was first published. Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is mentioned in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and Neil Gaiman references it in his comic series The Sandman.

Over a 180 years later Mackay’s thesis couldn’t be more on the mark as we continue to witness a mentality where people think in herds and as the author warned, “It will be seen that they go mad in herds”.

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The Real Places Of Three Pines: A World of Curiosities

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aenean lectus nunc, laoreet ac placerat eget, ornare vel sapien. Duis iaculis eu augue vitae ultricies. Maecenas consequat volutpat enim, eu dapibus turpis vulputate eget. Donec suscipit tincidunt ex, sit amet rhoncus nunc tempus quis. Sed venenatis ex ultricies justo finibus faucibus. Donec nec eleifend nibh. Pellentesque commodo sem dolor, at varius nisl sollicitudin et. Proin pulvinar eu est vel tincidunt. Suspendisse tincidunt nulla nec eros vehicula congue id non ante. Fusce pretium lobortis ante, vitae tincidunt nisi gravida ac. Suspendisse rutrum nunc ut felis elementum, vitae posuere elit pretium. Nunc bibendum ante id rutrum fringilla. Fusce sodales justo in arcu pulvinar, vitae consequat nisl suscipit. Morbi tempus imperdiet diam, id ultricies nunc viverra vel.

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Postcards from Three Pines: The Madness of Crowds

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The pandemic!! And the only good thing is that it’s allowing me to focus on writing. Not sure if I’ll include the pandemic or not. I think though I’ll call it The Madness of Crowds. It’s terrifying what otherwise rational, even kindly people can do when co-opted.
Ok. Back to experimenting with pan bakes!
Hope you’re doing ok. Keep safe.

Love,
Louise

AN EXCERPT FROM THE MADNESS OF CROWDS

Armand Gamache would never forget when the Premier of Québec, a personal friend, had called him with the news that they had a vaccine. The man was in tears, barely able to get the words out.
As he’d hung up, Armand had felt light-headed. He could feel a sort of hysteria welling up. It was like nothing he’d ever felt before. Not on this scale. It wasn’t just relief, it felt like a rebirth. Though not everyone, and not everything, would be resurrected.
When the pandemic was finally, officially, declared over, the little village of Three Pines where the Gamaches lived had gathered on the village green where the names of the dead had been read out. Loved ones had planted trees in the clearing above the chapel. It would be called, from that day on, the New Forest.
Then, to great ceremony, Myrna had unlocked her bookstore. And Sarah had opened the doors to her boulangerie. Monsieur Béliveau put the Ouvert sign in front of his general store, and a cheer rose up as Olivier and Gabri unlocked their bistro.
Banks of barbecues on the village green grilled burgers and hot dogs and steaks and a cedar-plank salmon. Sarah’s cakes and pies and butter tarts were placed on a long table while Billy Williams helped Clara Morrow lug over buckets of her homemade lemonade.
There were games for the children and, later, a bonfire and dancing on the village green.
Friends and neighbors hugged, and even kissed. Though it felt strange, and even slightly naughty. Some still preferred to bump elbows. Others continued to carry their masks. Like a rosary, or rabbit’s foot, or a St. Christopher medal, promising safe passage.
When Ruth coughed, everyone stepped away, though they probably would have anyway.

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Postcards from Three Pines: All The Devils Are Here

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Bonjour from Paris! Here to research Paris for All The Devils Are Here. Since I don’t really know it well I brought my research team with me. Little devils!! Guy, Walter and Kirk. Soooo fun. Oh, here’s a photo I look at often as writing – the National archives, in the Marais.
I can now see Armand, Reine- Marie, young Armand. Zora. Stephen. They’re walking the streets with me.
Wish you were here too.

Love,
Louise

AN EXCERPT FROM ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE

Reine-Marie Gamache slipped her arm through her husband’s as they walked along rue des Archives to the bus stop on rue des Quatre-Fils.
Armand had suggested he flag down a taxi to take them from their apartment in the Marais to the restaurant, but Reine-Marie preferred the bus. It was a route she knew well. One that always confirmed for her that she was in Paris.
“Do you remember the first time we took this bus?” she asked.
He heard her words but was thinking about the first time ReineMarie had taken his arm. Like this.
It was their third date, and they were walking along the slippery winter sidewalk in Montréal after dinner.
He’d reached out for her, to keep her steady, just as Reine-Marie had reached for him.
To keep him steady.
She’d put her arm through his. So that their fates would be intertwined. If one lost their balance, the other would right them. Or they’d fall together.
“You had on that blue cape your mother loaned you,” he said, remembering that chilly night.
“I had on the polka dot dress I’d borrowed from my sister,” she said, remembering that warm day.
“It was winter,” he said.
“It was the height of summer.”
“Ah, yes,” he said into the evening air. “I remember it well.”
“You nut,” she laughed, recognizing the reference.
He smiled. And squeezed her arm. As they passed men and women, young and old, lovers and strangers, strolling like them along rue des Quatre-Fils.

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Postcards from Three Pines: A Better Man

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Writing A Better Man, but also taking photos, to show TV people what homes in Three Pines might look like. Hope they get it right! They visited from UK and of course there was a storm.
Oh, also went on tour. Here’s a shot from the stage at one event for Kingdom. Very exciting!
Hope you’re well.

Love,
Louise

AN EXCERPT FROM A BETTER MAN

All sorts of things woke up in the spring. With the warmer weather. Bears. Chipmunks. Skunks and racoons. And rivers.
They came to life.
There were few things more powerful, or destructive, or terrifying, than a hungry bear or a river in full flood.
Gamache knew exactly where the river was heading. While he’d never been along this road before, he knew the area. They weren’t all that far from his own village.
Which meant the roar they heard was the Rivière Bella Bella, heading straight into Three Pines.
He took out his phone to call Reine-Marie, to warn her and find out how things were, but Cameron was right. There was no signal.
He clicked the phone off, put it back in his pocket, and turned to look up the muddy road.
“Come on,” he said, and started the climb.

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