In a police station, a man is being interrogated. The cops want him to explain 'what he did to Carol'. The man - Polza Mancini, 38 years old, once a writer, now homeless - tells them his story, in his own words, in his own time. He will tell them how, when his father died, he was exposed for the first time to 'the blast' - a savage epiphany that allowed him a momentary glimpse of a world unfettered by limits or morality - and how that vision transformed him. It was a complete upheaval for this unhappy, overweight 38-year-old, who overnight decided to leave everything - his wife, his home, his job - in order to lose himself in nature. Far from the eyes of others, and from anything that might undermine his new self-image, he set off on a quest for freedom from absolutely everything. On a quest for the blast. This is the story of the desperate spiritual struggle of a man who has decided to live by his own laws. It is a tale of mental unbalance; a savage, epic journey; a profoundly disturbing thriller. Blast is woven from the delicate shadows of the human spirit, the stuff of dreams... and nightmares.
A man - filthy, stinking, alone and obese - is taken in by the police. We don't yet know what he's done, or why he's there. But he's going to tell us his story. The story of a man who strives to live by his own rules, free from the bounds of socially imposed morality and norms, an ambition inspired by one blinding, ecstatic, vivid moment of ultilmate perfection in life and existence - The Blast. He makes the only choice possible for him after such an experience: he leaves everything behind and sets off to live, really live, in the wild, on his own. This first volume is a homage to the acute beauty of nature, solitude and feeling alive. And to the pain and brutality necessary for this man to find his way to another, purer, more complete level of existence. But is the mysterious 'Blast' really what it seems? And so the interrogation begins.
Back to the interrogation room nestled at the heart of that gray, clouded metropolis, and Polza's story continues. We soon find ourselves extracted from that police station, the metaphor for everything that this extraordinary protagonist seeks to escape (law, bureaucracy, morality, social codes, restriction), and returned to the beautiful but savage rural backdrop of Polza Mancini's quest for transcendance. His wanderings eventually bring him to the underground hideout of the so-called "Saint Jacky", a prolific drug dealer who uses his profits to feed his obsession: books. But this avid reader also has his dark side, as Mancini soon discovers.
Mancini's story gets harder and harder to digest, as it spirals towards it's violent and sordid climax. We see cracks beginning to appear in that seemingly impenetrable calm he maintains in the interrogation room, as he relates his difficult winter, his internment in a psychiatric hospital, his discovery of a collection of paintings that are the perfect representation of human suffering, and a cataclysmic encounter in the forest.
The Mancini interrogation is finally wrapped up in this fourth and final volume Manu Larcenet’s masterpiece. His immaculate plotline reaches a conclusion that will leave you wide-eyed and speechless, as it unravels the mysteries of the fascinating savagery and the captivating but deranged mind of this rare human being.