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.
Winner: Prix Relay des Voyageurs, Laureat 2012
©2013 Gallic Books (P)2013 Gallic Books
I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.
This was my book club's read this month and I have to say that I wasn't too eager to read this. I thought it sounded kind of silly and thought it wouldn't be my type of book. What a nice surprise to find out that I was wrong. I thought this book was awesome. It was unique and whimsical. The story takes place in France in the 1980s. If you read the book's description you'll see that President Francois Mitterrand leaves his black felt hat in a Parisian brasserie. Daniel Mercier, an accountant, who happens to be eating dinner at a table next to Mitterrand notices the hat. Being a bit starstruck, Daniel Mercier picks it up and keeps it for himself. This action completely changes Daniel Mercier's life. I don't want to spoil such a cool story, so I will just say that the hat takes the reader on an interesting journey. For such a short book, Laurain knows how to paint descriptions of characters, food, smells, etc., in such a intelligent and concise way that I haven't encountered before. He describes things perfectly and then he moves along. The narration was spot on and I really enjoyed listening to all the French words and accents. It was an added bonus that I feel that the reader would miss out on by just reading the book. Suffice it to say, I will be looking out for more books from Antoine Laurain in the future.
The story seemed unfinished somehow, perhaps it is me. I do not care for switchbacks.
Female, love a good mystery, Victorian English literature and love to laugh (Dickens, Austen, Trollepe, Wodehouse, Gaskell, Elliot
Enjoyed both the story and each of the narrators. Clever and charming. Must admit I failed to understand the ending -will listen again.
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