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Antoine Laurain was born in Paris and is a journalist, antiques collector and award-winning author. His novel The President's Hat was a Waterstones Book Club and ABA Indies Introduce pick in 2013. The Red Notebook was on the Indie Next List for May 2015 and was a MIBA bestseller. Antoine represented France at European Literature Night 2014.
Romantic, wry and fragrant with the intoxicating bouquet of la vie Parisienne, this book will brighten the greyest of days with Gallic charme and enchantement. Paris, 2017, and Hubert invites a few associates to share a bottle of exquisite 1954 Beaujolais. Among his guests are American tourist Bob, and neighbour Julien. For Julien, 1954 has extra significance, for that was when an ancestor of his experienced “something extraordinary”. Namely, he sighted a flying saucer in a year that became known as “The Year of Flying Saucers” due to the prolific number of sightings. Next morning, each of Hubert’s guests themselves experience something extraordinary as they realise they’ve been transported to a Paris of the past, to a city in which citizens exchange lighthearted bonhomie on buses, and cafes allow patrons to “smoke with impunity”. Initially Bob amusingly muses that “despite globalisation, the French had not lost their soul!” Then it dawns on the wine-sharing group how they came to voyage through time: “when the flying saucer flew over, it changed the Saint-Antoine wine and since then whoever drinks it will go back to 1954”. Despite enjoying a very pleasant sojourn in the past - encountering Audrey Hepburn in a bar, dining with Edith Piaf - the question is: how can they return to 2017? Driven by droll humour and romance, and with a miraculous climax, this is a fabulously full-bodied-book with crisply sweet undertones.
How far would you go to enjoy a cigarette? When headhunter Fabrice Valentine faces a smoking ban at work, he decides to undertake a course of hypnotherapy to rid himself of the habit. At first the treatment works, but his stress levels begin to rise when he is passed over for an important promotion and he finds himself lighting up again - but with none of his previous enjoyment. Then he discovers something terrible: he accidentally causes a mans death, and needing a cigarette to calm his nerves, he enjoys it more than any other previous smoke. What if he now needs to kill someone every time he wants to properly appreciate his next Benson and Hedges? An original and totally French black comedy from bestselling author, Antoine Laurain.
An endearing love story written in beautifully poetic prose. --San Francisco Book Review A heartwarming tale. --San Diego Book Review Resist this novel if you can. --The Times A pocket-sized, cloth-bound edition of the bestselling novel about a Parisian bookseller's quest to find the owner of a handbag with intriguing contents.
While wandering through a Paris auction house, avid collector Pierre-Francois Chaumont is stunned to discover the eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him. Much to his delight, Chaumont's bid for the work is successful, but back at home his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance. Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting's history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand new life...
Praise for The Red Notebook An endearing love story written in beautifully poetic prose. It is an enthralling mystery about chasing the unknown, the nostalgia for what could have been, and most importantly, the persistence of curiosity. San Francisco Book Review Praise for The President's Hat Its gentle satirical humor reminded me of Jacques Tati's classic films. Library Journal Irresistibly whimsical, possessed of wit somewhere between that of Alan Bennett's in The Uncommon Reader and Muriel Barbery's in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and thoroughly entertaining The King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake CityAntoine Laurain's new novel combines his trademark charm with a satirical take on modern France.Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letterthirty-three years too late.Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar.Back then The Holograms had believed in their cutting-edge sound. However, the music industry remained indifferent, and eventually the band split up, each going their own way.Alain is overcome by nostalgia, and is tempted to track down the members of the group. But in a world where everything and everyone has changed ...where will his quest take him?Antoine Laurain is a Parisian screenwriter, antiques collector and the author of six novels, three of which are available in English. The President's Hat was a 2013 ABA Indies Introduce choice.
Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street, and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?
Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President Francois Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him. Daniel's thrill at being in such close proximity to the most powerful man in the land persists even after the presidential party has gone, which is when he 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.