The Bad Luck Catcher

Fabrice Hadjadj, illustrations by Tom Tirabosco

French, La Joie de Lire, Geneva, 2020

Acclaimed writer Fabrice Hadjadj makes his young adult debut with this pulsing trilogy. The author plunges us into a fantasy universe with echoes of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, vividly brought to life by the drawings of illustrator Tom Tirabosco.

L’attrape-malheur (‘The Bad Luck Catcher’) traces the extraordinary fate of Jakob Traum – a boy never destined to lead a life anything but ordinary. The series follows the adventures of the young hero, and his remarkable gift, over three books: Entre la meule et les couteaux (‘Between the Millstone and the Blades’), Des forêts aux foreuses (‘Forests of Drills’) and Un berceau dans les batailles. (‘A Cradle in Battle’).
The first book begins during Jakob’s carefree childhood. The only child of millers, Jakob spends his days exploring the great outdoors, being doted on by his adoring parents, and playing with his best friend Clara in his small mountain village. Then one day events take a strange turn. By some miracle, Jakob emerges unscathed from two accidents which should have proved fatal… and his life will never be the same again.

La Joie de Lire, Geneva
Translation rights
Carina Diez Solari,
Publication date
September 2020


Fabrice Hadjadj

Fabrice Hadjadj is a French writer, philosopher and playwright. Born in 1971, he studied at the Paris Sciences Po before training as a teacher of philosophy. He is best known in literary circles for his essays, in which he explores questions of health, technology and the body. His major works include: Paradis à la porte : Essai sur une joie qui dérange (Paradise Knocks: An essay on uneasy happiness, Seuil 2011), Dernières nouvelles de l’homme (et de la femme aussi) (The Latest News on Men (And Women Too), Tallandier, 2017) and Être clown en 99 leçons (How to Be a Clown in 99 Lessons, La Bibliothèque, 2017). His passion for the theatre has inspired him to create several plays, while his predilection for the visual arts has prompted him to pen three books on art. A keen musician, he has written multiple albums too. He is also the Director of Philantropos, a university institute in the Swiss canton of Fribourg.


Tom Tirabosco

Tom Tirabosco is an illustrator and graphic novel artist, who has won multiple prizes for his comic art. Born in 1966, he trained at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts and later the Geneva School of Visual Arts. He is the co-founder of the Geneva School of Comic Art and Illustration, which he set up with the famous Swiss cartoonist Zep.