Six Degrees of Freedom

Publisher: Vintage Canada
A funny and fast-paced novel about obsession and adventure, science experiments and parakeets, coding and container ships, Six Degrees of Freedom won the Governor General's Literary Award in its original French. Nicolas Dickner is a previous winner of Canada Reads for the novel Nikolski.

"Brilliant, beautiful and poetic with moments of pure reading pleasure! You read it with a smile on your lips--it's a book that makes you happy."
--Anne Michaud, Bernier et Cie, Radio-Canada

Three characters, infinite paths to freedom...
     Lisa is a young woman whose longing for adventure is tethered by the demands of an eccentric mother and a father slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's. Lisa's friend Éric is an agoraphobic hacker who becomes independently wealthy before his eighteenth birthday. And Jay is a former computer pirate who's paying her debt to society, day by stultifying day, working for the RCMP in Montreal. But when Jay learns of the existence of the mysterious shipping container Papa Zulu, she begins a clandestine investigation to discover who made it disappear and what they are trying to hide.


Winner of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for French Fiction 

“Rich and skilfully constructed, Six degrés de liberté is a tender and finely written novel. Nicolas Dickner, well versed in the advances of technology, describes with intelligence and humour the ravages of globalization and unbridled capitalism while creating characters who push back all the boundaries.” —Jury statement, Governor General’s Literary Award (French-Language), 2015

“An astonishing book, of great originality.” —Bernard Lehut, RTL
“Cleverly alternating between two storylines, Nicolas Dickner has concocted a sort of techno-thriller that avoids obvious twists.” —Baptiste Liger, Lire

“While the brilliant author of Nikolski describes his new book as using ‘the same arsenal in a different way,’ Six Degrees of Freedom is nevertheless vintage Dickner. The book is propelled by the same acute intelligence, the same precise and flowing style and relentless pacing, the same pleasure in literary detours tinged with irony, the same geek culture and ‘culture’ culture, the same slightly off-kilter universe populated by hackers, loners and obsessives.” —Josée Lapointe, La Presse
A true cure-all for boredom and a testament to Dickner’s enormous talent.” —Impact Campus
“With his lively style, playful voice and original characters, Nicolas Dickner serves up a delectable read.” —
Brilliant, beautiful and poetic with moments of pure reading pleasure! You read it with a smile on your lips—it’s a book that makes you happy. Which is just as well when the subject is ship containers.” —Anne Michaud, Bernier et Cie, Radio-Canada
Six Degrees of Freedom is even richer [than Dickner’s previous novels] whichever way you look at it. Even more masterful and with a remarkable structure and rhythm.” —Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir
The formidable analytical mind of Nicolas Dickner is what marks him as one of the most interesting writers of his generation. This incisive intelligence, coupled with an irresistible humour, runs through the whole novel, taking us to places we never thought possible. All you have to do is let yourself go.” —Martine Desjardins, L’Actualité
“What I like with Dickner is his extraordinary storytelling ability. It’s very well done!” —David Desjardins, Médium Large, Radio-Canada
“A novel with action, about friendship, about obsession. Nearly every sentence makes you smile.” —Anne-Josée Cameron, Cet Après-midi, Radio-Canada
“Everything fits together perfectly—it’s brilliant and intelligent.” —Rafaëlle Germain,
“Ingeniously constructed—I was seduced by the writing.” —Marc Cassivi,
“More than ever before, Nicolas Dickner’s Six Degrees of Freedom has achieved the fine balance between narrative and emotion, inspiring in the reader equal amounts of admiration and pleasure.” —Isabelle Léger, Bible Urbaine
“Dickner has surprises for us right up to the last page. His book is a sort of twenty-first century quest, joining together technology and humanism.” —Jean-François Crépeau, Le Canada Français
“Dickner’s third novel is a fabulous treasure hunt where we are joyfully reacquainted with the lively bestseller Nikolski. . . . There’s much to love: the ship’s container as dream machine, poetic and subversive thanks to the author’s talents; the incisive and lively humour; the tenderness with which he treats the two adventurers; the feverish pace of the narrative.” —Monique Roy, Chatelaine
“A novel of trajectories and keen insights as only Dickner can write, Six Degrees of Freedom shows us a surprising vision of global commerce punctuated with amusing anecdotes and a good dose of humour.” —CHOQ’s Mission encre noire
“There’s not a dull moment in this extremely intelligent and masterly novel.” —Josée Bonneville, Radio VM