Les sauvages

c.300 pages | Publication in France: 2011/2012/2013/2016 | Finished copies available, English translation | Flammarion | Author photo: ©Bertini

  • "An exceptional political and social thiller. The energy and imagination behind The Savages are breathtaking. Like Zadie Smith, Sabri Louatah's ear is exceptional..." - Liberation

Sabri Louatah brushes away the boundaries between literary and commercial fiction with graceful writing and a plot carried by a stunning sense of urgency. . .

It's the day of the presidential elections and all of France is in a state of shock: the first Arab candidate, who was projected to win, has just been shot. The sprawling Nerrouche family is devastated to discover that one of their own is the prime suspect in the shooting. It turns out that Nazir, a shadowy but compelling figure, has links to Islamist extremists.  

In the aftermath of the assassination attempt, the police and prosecution unravel, creating a vacuum in which old alliances shatter and new, more ominous ones emerge. As riots break out, prosecutors and detectives descend upon the Nerrouches, turning them into a convenient political scapegoat for the country's elite.  

It falls to the family's favorite son Fouad, Nazir's brother and apparent opposite, to clear his family's name. But an enigma hangs over the affair: what if the whole assassination attempt and manhunt was in fact a far-reaching, clandestine plot intended to alter the course of history? 

Louatah has written a gripping saga in four volumes-bringing together the ambition and scope of nineteenth-century literary epics and the pacing of a modern thriller. Its vulnerable and flawed characters, its luminous descriptions, have the intensity and resonance of first-class literary fiction. The Savages has been met with unanimous acclaim from critics and readers alike.
Praise for The Savages:
"Ferrante. Knausgaard. Louatah. three literary series that are better than anything." - Grazia
"Immense, and immensely
popular."- Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
"Balzac 2013. Finely-crafted and enthralling. . .Written with beautiful clarity."  - Liberation
"Powerful and addictive. An
astounding modern tale. A clear winner." - Lire
"An ambitious social fresco, with echoes of Millennium and Zola's novels, the writing is remarkable - by its vitality, its creativity, its generosity. Original and convincing, The Savages is reminiscent of Alejandro González Iñárritu's films (Babel, Biutiful.). From the law and police to the press and politics, The Savages is a gallery of portraits, devoid of bitterness and naivety. We impatiently await the final duel." - Virginie Despentes, Le Monde des livres
"A gem. Sabri Louatah: an Arab Philip Roth." - François Busnel, La Grande Libraire (France 5)
"A compelling and expansive socio-political thriller. The Savages is a refreshing, if bleak, corrective to the romanticized images of France.In its readability The Savages evokes the nineteenth-century feuilleton, but its pace is best described as "televisual," reflecting a tightly coiled American television series such as The Wire. Fans of the French Canal+/BBC collaboration Spiral will appreciate its blend of urban grit, cliffhangers and scrutiny of the French justice system." - The Times Literary Supplement

Rights sold

  • Algeria: Chihab
  • France: Flammarion|Versilio
  • Germany: Heyne Encore
  • Holland: Luitingh-Sijthoff
  • Italy: Mondadori
  • Poland: Foksal
  • Spain: Penguin Random House
  • Turkey: Trend
  • TV Rights: Chic Films & Canal+
  • UK: Corsair


  • Sabri Louatah presents The Savages