Literature: The Suicide Shop

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

The Suicide Shop (Le Magasin Des Suicides in its original French) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Crap Sack 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
  • 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.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: The cute guy asks for Marilyn's hand in marriage before even knowing her name.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.