There's no shortage of intrigue in this offbeat debut novel by Jean-Michel Fortier: an unnamed village, a strange and anonymous narrator, an unsolved murder, a mysterious huntsman, and a wisdom tooth extraction gone terribly wrong.
The "we" narrator's rambling and often ironic musings are unsettling at first, and the atmosphere vaguely claustrophobic as the tale shifts back and forth between Monday meetings at the parish hall, where villagers air their petty complaints, and their Friday gatherings shrouded in secrecy and presided over by the enigmatic Professor. A bewitching story full of dark humour and laugh-out-loud absurdity.
A surprise return home triggers a chain of events, their strands weaving together a sinister web of dreams and reality, truth and lies, secrets and spells.
Following in the tradition of Fortier's absurdist first novel, The Unknown Huntsman, this is a dark and offbeat tale about lost love, lost dreams, and one lost limb.
Through its fine translation by Katherine Hastings, The Electric Baths's exquisite language and wry omniscience result in a dark, delightful landscape of curious happenings. (, Foreword Reviews)
The citizens of this community are dealing with an uncanny series of events and emotions that are puzzling and in many cases hard to define.  unique. (Steven Buechler, The Library of Pacific Tranquility)
Fortier (The Unknown Huntsman) threads reality with dreams in this enchanting tale about a small unnamed village full eccentric characters and secrets  slim and wispy with curious characters and effortless prose. (Publishers Weekly)
The Electric Baths is a clever book where we're only really sure what's happening when it's finally over  a fun, enjoyable read (Tony Malone, Tony's Reading List)
It would be remiss not to mention Fortier's style, his originality, his colourfulness. His influences? I could go in a few different directions: Fred Pellerin, Michel Tremblay, Jacques Ferron all of them good! It makes you want to go back and read his first novel, and to hope there's another on its way. (Martin Prévost, pieuvre.ca)
The latest, second novel by Jean-Michel Fortier was highly anticipated for good reason: with The Unknown Huntsman, its predecessor, Fortier created a world all his own, a world composed of mystery and intrigue in a far-flung, unnamed village, scrambling all our points of reference and using subtle, sardonic humour to take great delight in fiddling with language and narrative techniques. (Jean-Sébastien Doré, Impact Campus)