Ligne B is a novel in which fiction and reality appear to run in parallel. The fiction comes from author Jean Segui, who tells a tale of three characters in Le Havre. His chapters open with series of street photos by Élodie Boyer, following the course of the city’s B tram line. This appears on the book’s half-title and folded-out back flap, showing all fifteen stops – from La Plage to Caucriauville Pré Fleuri – the names of which double as the chapter titles. The rhythm of these bled-off photos at successive chapter openings creates a subtle pattern of short black stripes on the yellow fore-edge. The novel is uncommonly nicely turned out: printed in black with citron as the recurrent spot colour, yellow start and end sheet, yellow typography on jacket. Between the paragraphs there are occasional simple pen drawings that enliven the text pages and probably also mark particular meanings.
One minor point of criticism is that the book is too stiff and fails to lie open nicely. Nevertheless, in the multitude of novels this book was conspicuous for its careful handling, its attention to detail, and the relevant and attractive commingling of text and image.