The President Paperback – Nov 8 2011
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“It is impossible not to admire the accuracy, the unfailing psychological insight, the unfaltering eye for the small but convincing human details that he brings to his stories of men obsessed.”
—Life magazine (1958)
“Since most Simenon characters are driven and obsessive, their actions are outside the constraints of ordinary life and, as such, are of striking ethical and psychological interest... Simenon has often been compared to Dostoyevsky...”
—New York Times
About the Author
Called the “world’s most prolific novelist” by Life magazine, and several times a candidate for the Nobel Prize, Georges Simenon (1903-1989) published more than four-hundred novels, seventy-five of them featuring his celebrated detective, Commissaire Maigret.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Loosely based on the latter years of Georges Clemenceau ("Le Tigre") George Simenon's "The President" is one more reason why I will pick up and read a book by Simenon anywhere I can find it. Perhaps best known for his Inspector Maigret stories such as The Hotel Majestic (Penguin Mysteries), I think his finest work can be found in what he called his "romans durs" or hard stories such as The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (New York Review Books Classics). These were not police procedurals but, rather, stories that looked at the dark side of our nature. The Simenons I have read have all been fine examples of the art of writing and "The President" is no exception. Simenon takes the reader into the mind of this aging leader as he contemplates the world around him, from the political crisis to the randy behavior of his young kitchen girl, you get lost in his own thoughts and musings. The premiere's decision as to whether to pull the rug from under Chalmont's pending ascension to power is handled with skill.
If you already know and admire Simenon this book should be added to you collection. If you have not read Simenon yet this is as good a place to start as any. Highly recommended. L. Fleisig
Written in 1957, before France finally became a stable political entity in 1959 under Charles de Gaulle, this is a compelling novel about French politics, rule by coalition, role of the press and blackmail. It is also a fine character study of a man without compromise, assuming full personal responsibility again and again, ready to do whatever is necessary to prevent France from sliding into chaos. Stunning finish. One question: why this title? After all, a job he cherished, but never attained. Great read, great author.