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 Black Comedy 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.

This book includes examples of:

  • Armor-Piercing Question: "You, how would you do it?" A customer to Lucrèce about how would she commit suicide. This just after talking to her kids why they have to resist the temptation of suicide.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Zig-zagged with Marilyn in the film. She has areola, but no nipples.
  • Black Comedy: No kidding. The Film of the Book's intro features a vague of suicides in various locations of Paris, with the delightfully ironic 30es French song Y'a d'la joie (roughly: "There's joy!") as a musical background.
  • Black Sheep: Alain, for his cheerful nature.
  • Bowdlerisation: Possibly. What's this in the above description about the distant future and "the Big One"? The original French version is set in today's era. Which you could argue is enough to justify a Crapsack World.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Thankfully it's only subtext, but Alan sure finds his sister pretty... He even peeps on her dancing naked in her room (with all his friends no less!) and draws pictures of her naked. It mildly freaks out their mom when she finds out.
  • Crapsack World
  • Cheerful Child: Alan. In the film, his parents even tried to get him to frown.
  • Children Are Innocent: Alan sees nothing sexual about his sister getting changed and dancing around her room naked, unlike his friends, it's just that he likes to watch her dance.
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: Invoked with Mishima and Lucrèce.
  • Compliment Backfire: Alain calling Marylin "pretty" actually drove her to tears while denying it and reassuring herself she is ugly.
  • 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 as teenagers, with the former being rather rotund and the latter being lanky.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: The cute guy asks for Marilyn's hand in marriage before even knowing her name.
  • Gratuitous German: Mishima's therapist counts to 3 in German before starting his song.
  • Happily Ever After: Breton crepes for everyone!
  • Heel Realization: Mishima when he went with Mr. Calmel to see him happily commit suicide, and discovering he actually was happy before.
  • Love at First Sight: Marilyn and the cute guy.
  • Meaningful Name: All three of the Tuvache children are named after suicides.
  • 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. Alan and his friends approve.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the final musical number, all the people who committed suicide come back as ghosts and express their regret over throwing their lives away upon seeing how happy everyone is now thanks to the Tuvaches' new crepe restaurant.
  • No Name Given: Marilyn's love interest, the cute guy.
  • Offing the Offspring: Mishima strangles Alan to death in a Daydream Surprise and then attempts to shorten his life by getting him to start smoking. After being driven insane, he attempts to murder Alan directly with a Tachi.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Alain actually commits suicide in the book. Implied to be because he feels he has nothing more to do.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it "Alain" or "Alan"? Both are used interchangeably.
  • Splash of Color: Downplayed, but in the gray and somber city, the store is the most colorful place.
  • 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."
  • Tears of Remorse: Mishima when Alan jumps off the building. Turns to Tears of Joy when he sees Alan survived.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Mishima sees a therapist after his suicide attempt, not that it helps much.
  • Tone Shift: Compared to the rather bleak humor characterizing the first two thirds of the movie, its cheerful grand finale comes off as incredibly light-hearted.
  • When She Smiles: Marilyn is the first of the Tuvaches to be reformed. Seeing Marilyn smile is what starts Lucrèce's own reformation.