Antoine Laurain

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French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain (transl. Jane Aitken & Emily Boyce): More than just a bit of fluff

A few years ago I was sent a copy of The President’s Hat which I quickly dismissed as a piece of fluff, far too whimsical for me. Then, after a few too many literary gloomfests, I picked it up, cynical hat firmly on my head. I loved it, gave lots of copies away and recommended …

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The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (transl. Jane Aitkin and Emily Boyce): A sweet indulgence

Back in 2013 I was sent a copy of The President’s Hat. I wasn’t at all sure about it – a bit too much of the whimsy for me it seemed – but it turned out to be one of my favourite books of that year. Not a literary masterpiece but clever, witty and uplifting. …

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From thenReading Agency's website

Books on Prescription for Dementia: A very fine initiative

Around this time last year I mentioned the Reading Agency’s Reading Well initiative in a post on Vintage’s Shelf Help promotion. They’d just launched their second list of books aimed at people suffering from depression. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye open hoping for the chance to vote for titles on a third list, …

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Books of the Year 2014: Part 3

The last of my ‘books of the year’ posts begins with one of my two September favourites, Steven Galloway’s The Confabulist which tells the story of the man who killed Houdini not once, but twice. Far from a straightforward reimagining of the Houdini story Galloway’s novel is a very clever bit of business which didn’t …

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The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain (transl. Jane Aitkin and Emily Boyce): C’est tres bien

I have to admit I was a little sceptical about The President’s Hat. I thought it might be a tad whimsical for me but it turns out to be an absolute delight from start to finish. It begins with an accountant, a little out of sorts with his job, treating himself to a solitary meal …

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