- The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain
- Publisher: Gallic Books
- Published: September 3, 2013
- Pages: 208
- Genre: World literature / adult fiction
This prize-winning French bestseller is a charming fable about the power of a hat that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through French life during the Mitterrand years.
Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.
After the presidential party has gone, Daniel discovers that Mitterrand’s black felt hat has been left behind. After a few moments’ soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It’s a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow…different.
Has Daniel unwittingly discovered the secret of supreme power?
For two years the iconic item of headgear plays with the lives of the men and women who wear it, bringing them success that had previously eluded them. Antoine Laurain’s brilliantly orchestrated tour captures entertaining portraits of a rich gallery of characters.
Shot through with a delicious, wicked sense of humor, ‘The President’s Hat’ is a vivid re-creation of the everyday life of an era.
“As entertaining as it is original, this is a story to enjoy like a chocolate with a surprise centre.”- ‘Marie France’
Novelist, journalist, screenwriter, director, collector of antique keys … Antoine Laurain was born in Paris in the early 1970s. After studying cinema, he began his career directing short films and writing screenplays. His passion for art led him to take a job assisting an antiques dealer in Paris. The experience provided the inspiration for his first novel, Ailleurs si j’y suis, the story of a collector, which was awarded the Prix Drouot in 2007. Fume et tue, a satirical tale of addiction and murder, was published the next year, followed by Carrefour des Nostalgies, whose central character was a failed local politician.
Published on the eve of the French presidential elections of 2012, Antoine Laurain’s fourth, fairytale-like novelThe President’s Hat was acclaimed by critics, readers and booksellers, who awarded it the Prix Landerneau Découvertes. It also won the Prix Relay des Voyageurs, a prize which celebrates the enjoyment of reading. The President’s Hat has been adapted for television in France.
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The President’s Hat is another feather in the cap of author Antoine Laurain! Delightfully descriptive and entertaining. In his characters we are bound to find a bit of ourselves. It’s rare to really develop an affinity for multiple characters in a book and I loved each and every one of them.
The story is based in France, including Paris and we are allowed a peek into the lives of everyday people who come face-to-face with the same, everyday issues that we do. If you are a foodie you will be constantly hungry as Antoine’s describes with detail the typical French “repas”.
Oh, and did I mention, there is a hat in the story? If this was a movie, it would receive it’s own credit!