Literature / The Suicide Shop

"Has your life been a failure? Let's make your death a success."
- The Suicide Shop motto

The Suicide Shop (originally: Le Magasin Des Suicides) is a 2006 Black Comedy novel by the French author and film-maker Jean Teulé about the Tuvaches, the family that runs the afore-mentioned shop in the distant future after the "Big One" where life has become meaningless for most, leading to them seeking out the Suicide Shop, where they have a method to kill yourself for any budget. When their youngest son, Alan is born, they discover that he is not like the others.

An Film of the Book was made in 2012, directed by Patrice Laconte. It also happens to be an Animated Musical.

This book includes examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Downplayed, save for indications that their technology is a bit more advanced, including a 3D television set that projects holograms and holograms in general.
  • After the End: The story is implied to take place after "the Big One." News reports from the television and radio push it further with reports of extreme weather patterns and other forms of calamities from all over the world.
  • Apocalypse How: Judging from news reports, definitely a Class1 (Planetary Scale, Societal Disruption).
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "What would you take?" asked a customer to Lucrèce about how she would commit suicide. She briefly spaces out then explains why she, and her family to an extent, must resist the temptation
  • Black Comedy
  • Cheerful Child: Alan. His parents even tried to get him to frown when a customer saw him smiling.
  • Compliment Backfire: Alain calling Marilyn "pretty" actually drove her to tears.
  • Crapsack World
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The youngest of the Tuvache family is the first one to commit suicide where the story suddenly ends.
  • Death Seeker: Marilyn, but her parents won't let them. The parents too, but feel they must stay alive so they can help the other death seekers.
  • Fat and Skinny: Marilyn and Vincent.
  • Forgets to Eat: Vincent is described to be "anorexic". It's even implied that when he became so weak, he had to be injected with a glucose solution which only gets a mention when Alan used it to replace the supposed poison in the syringe that was injected in Marilyn with a needle to give her a Kiss of Death ability. As Madame Tuvache decides to cook actual good food and the Suicide Shop becomes a restaurant, he regains his appetite and has even gained weight.
  • Heel Realization: After sending Alan away to join the suicide commando in Monaco (as punishment for being too cheerful), Mishima later sobs in his cellar, realizing that he misses him. The entire family soon feels the same.
  • Kill the Cutie: Alan.
  • Kiss of Death: Marilyn was supposedly given this ability (through a syringe filled with poison injected through her veins) on her birthday to be of use in the store. Subverted in that Alan replaced the fluid with something else beforehand.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Vincent is occupied with his inventions. Hence, he's always up in his room.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alan's teenage sister Marilyn, though dramatically lacking in the area of self-esteem, gets to be this as she starts exploring her femininity.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The entire Tuvache family. Except Alan, of course, much to their chagrin.
  • The Pollyanna: Exaggerated to great effect. No matter what, Alan can and will find the bright side in all things dark and dreary.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it "Alain" or "Alan"? Both are used interchangeably.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Alan's self-imposed demise by letting go of the bandage that was used to pull him up after accidentally falling from the shop's tower. The book isn't exactly lighthearted fare as it revels in its dark humor but it still comes as a shock.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Alan's sergeant during his stint in the Monaco suicide commando team.
    "Watch carefully as I'll only be showing you once."
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Alan to a female customer who wanted to kill herself because she thought she was too ugly.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The Tuvache family are named after suicides (see Meaningful Name).
    • A cemetery warden named Ernest falls in love with Marilyn.
  • White Sheep: Alain, for his cheerful nature.