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• French publisher : Phébus
Published in french (2003)
- Ce que racontait Jones -
ISBN 2-85940-924-6
• German publisher : Unionsverlag
Translated and published in german (2005) - Was Jones erzählt -
Translator :
 Claudia Kalscheuer
ISBN 978-3293003477


Australian publisher : Giramondo
Translated in english (08/2005) by Andrew Riemer
ISBN 978-1-920882-07-5

In a run-down shack in a godforsaken town on the edge of the Gibson Desert an old circus family has come to rest. Tarcisius the 100 year-old father, once ringmaster of the Queen Pigmy Circus, lies dying on the verandah. The vindictive matriarch Magnolita Rosaria, famous in her youth as Soto the Flying Lady, and now so fat she cannot walk, rules their three sons. The oldest is a soldier, an arsonist and murderer, the second a hell-fire preacher, a lecher and a thief. The third has a daughter, Trinity, who inherits Magnolita Rosaria’s skills as an acrobat and sets the circus world alight. Her grandmother’s hatred knows no bounds…


The book was :
- Short-listed for the Renaudot Literary Award (2003)
- Short-listed for the Femina Literary Award (2003)
- Nominated for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award


The book was awarded :
- The “ Prix de la Société des Gens de Lettres ”, Paris


« This is a world of frenzy and frenetic articulation. Time and space are the first conventions to go: characters live impossible long lives, without enough food, in impossibly small and filthy spaces: they are impossibly fat, violent, evil, or mad. It is a tour de force of storytelling. Rey has a preference for physical and mental excess. Her style and subject matter are not so much magic realism, however, as the latest vegetable outgrown of the Absurdist rhizome in French literature, which runs riot from Rabelais, through Diderot, to Jarry and on to the Surrealists and Beckett. […] The gallows humour, the spirited energy (though it paradoxically tells the story of a decline) and the mad time scheme, combine to make a bewildering and exhilarating tumbleweed tale. »

Ingrid Wassenaar, Time Literary Supplement


« Catherine Rey raises her voice, unleashes her style and gives us this time an exuberant, eccentric, weird, comical and wild novel poured forth by a mysterious Jones, a former preacher who became a one-eyed ham, a clown who talks too much, a redeemer who might have been stung by the famous March fly that drives people nuts, or might have drunk too much bad rum from Java. […] This is without any doubt a revelation: a gothic western, Homeric, Hugolian, a saraband of monsters, tyrants, impostors, expressionist folks from a painting of Ensor or Grosz. »
Jean-Luc Douin, Le Monde

« Andrew Riemer, the Herald's chief book reviewer, discovered and translated The Spruiker's Tale. To render Rey's language and allusions he turned to Shakespeare, the King James Bible, Bing Crosby and, like her, invented some words. "It's wonderful to see her let rip," he says. "Her extravagance and wildness are very unusual for French writing, which tends to be ordered, rational, precise and very much in control of the emotions. »

Susan Wyndham, Sydney Morning Herald

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