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The Statement

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  428 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Set in the south of France and in Paris during the early 1990s, The Statement is the riveting tale of Pierre Brossard, a former officer in the pro-Fascist militia, which served Vichy in its most shameful aspect, and a murderer of Jews. Based on the real-life case of Paul Touvier, a French war criminal who was so long protected by Church and government officials. This novel ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Plume (first published September 4th 1995)
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Madame Bovary by Gustave FlaubertLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Set in France: Fiction
110th out of 368 books — 105 voters
L.A. Confidential by James EllroyThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Winter Queen by Boris AkuninThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré
SZ Kriminalbibliothek
48th out of 50 books — 4 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dhanaraj Rajan
Jun 15, 2015 Dhanaraj Rajan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, irish-lit
It is the thriller element that gained the four stars for this book.

If considered a literary work, I would give a star (or star and half) less.

As a crime thriller, this kept me on the chase of the pages from the first page itself. This story is about a manhunt - a fugitive who is on the run and who is chased by more than one group. There is action everywhere (shootings, killings, search warrants, political conspiracies, nail biting escapades, etc.).

This is loosely based on the real life story of
...more
Nick
Oct 04, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: france, canada
I am always surprised by Brian Moore's books. I go along for a few pages thinking I don't like them and I'm wasting my time. Then POW! everything changes. I'm engrossed and overwhelmed by developments that were lurking below the surface and suddenly came forward with the nonchalance that they were there all along. The Great Victorian Collection and Catholics were my first reads by him and were certainly that way. The Statement is a little more of a mainstream disillusioned spy story, but still m ...more
Patrdr
Mar 22, 2014 Patrdr rated it really liked it
I hadn't read any Brian Moore before. He was in the pantheon of Canadian writers and that both put me (also Canadian)off and made me want to check him out. I came across this book as an entry point.

It is a thriller. Set in France in the 1980s an old collaborator and war criminal remains on the run, pursued by the police, the military, a revenge-seeking Jewish commando and other shadowy forces. He is protected by conservative priests and monks of the French catholic church as well as by figures f
...more
Jane
May 27, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it
Exciting read - couldn't put it down once I started. Main character has hidden out under aegis of Catholic Church (but not necessarily the Vatican) for crimes committed in WWII against the Jews. As the old guard in the church die out and a new investigation is started the options available to him become fewer. His hypocrisy regarding his religion and the anti-semitism of this arm of the church are well written. It took a while for me to keep track of the different narrators but it was worth the ...more
☮Karen
May 31, 2010 ☮Karen rated it really liked it
This was as good as my husband said it would be; now I want to see the movie. Trying to picture Michael Caine as a French Nazi who is still on the run from authorities and again a wanted man for crimes against humanity commited during WWII. The Catholic Church has given him shelter all these years and has kept him safe from discovery. A pretty quick, enjoyable read.
Elaine Cougler
Aug 23, 2016 Elaine Cougler rated it liked it
The Statement by Brian Moore is an interesting look at the problem of hidden war criminals in France after World War II. Moore simultaneously shows the groups tracking the anti-hero, Pierre Brossard, and by omniscient point of view gives the reader an inside look at every character's thought and plans. Intriguing.
Lewis Weinstein
A powerful indictment of the Church during and after WWII. One of Brian Moore's best. I was fortunate to hear him read the first chapter at the 92nd St Y in NYC many years ago.
Martin
Sep 24, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary, fiction
What seems to be long time ago already, World War II changed not only the lives of those who were invaded, it changed the way countries looked at factions within themselves. France being just one example where internal groups either fought against or collaborated with the Nazis. Although the internal structure of invaded countries changed, what it did not change were the personalities of those who committed the holocaust crimes. Hannah Arendt calls this appropriately: The Banality of Evil, a ...more
Sam
May 08, 2012 Sam rated it did not like it
Hailing from Ireland as an immigrant to Canada, Brian Moore has garnered many prizes for his writing, including the 1960 and 1975 Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the 1987 Sunday Express Book of the Year, and three Booker Prize nominees.

Unfortunately, his national bestselling novel The Statement was a disappointment to read. The story of a fugitive hiding in French monasteries and inconspicuous safe houses – running for his life from past crimes against humanity – is an interesting premise
...more
Allan
Apr 27, 2015 Allan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Given how well regarded the author's Belfast novels are in NIliterary circles, and how much I enjoyed them, I decided a while ago to read all of his books-I've now read ten of his published works, and can't really say that this one was anywhere near as enjoyable as some of the others.


Essentially a thriller, the narrative takes place in France in the late 1980s, and follows Pierre Brossard, a former mid ranking official in the Vichy regime, as the net closes in on him after many years on the run
...more
Robert Beveridge
While they were both still walking the earth, Graham Greene said of Brian Moore, "He is my favorite living novelist." And while Greene's place among the canon for twentieth-century British literature is as solid as they come, I fear that (the late?) Brian Moore may toddle off into obscurity as we wander through the next century. As a writer of what I can only call "literary mysteries," Moore and his mentor, Greene, stand with a handful of others, almost all British-- Geoffrey Household and ...more
Lisa Faye
I've been dragging this book around for awhile now, but I was never very inspired to read it. I finally picked it up and it was good. A thriller that had me oddly enough kind of rooting for a Nazi war criminal, or at least just watching him turn every corner with trepidation as I was sure he would be caught or killed at every moment.

It was fine, but I'd like to see the movie as I think it would likely be better than the book.
Perry Whitford
Oct 05, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always on the look out for a superior thriller writer, this is the first novel I have read by celebrated genre practitioner Brian Moore, but it won't be the last.

This pulsating narrative, about a man on the run for decades within his own country, hunted by the state yet shielded by the Catholic church and senior figures within the highest reaches of politics, shines a clinical light on a dirty episode of French history, which has troubled the conscience of the country since the end of WWII.

Pierr
...more
Highlyeccentric
Jun 12, 2014 Highlyeccentric rated it liked it
Shelves: matu-to-do-list
I have very conflicted feelings about this book. I don't think it was *as good* as the jacket covers praised it to be. Masterful portrayal of evil yadda yadda yadda... hmm, no, maybe not. Or at least, that didn't seem to be the driving force of the book.

It *was* a good suspense thriller, and Moore did a fantastic job of making Brossard an... empathetic but not sympathetic character? You could understand all his motivations even as he was in fact a Not Nice Person. Most of his pursuers were well-
...more
Unbridled
Apr 02, 2009 Unbridled rated it liked it
Reluctant to say anything too negative about this book because it is, in the end, expertly done, and I remember enjoying Lies of Silence very much. A small issue with the occasional shifts from 3rd person to 1st person – did not strike me as especially effective or necessary. Overall, however, it does what it's supposed to do and what it intends to do. Interesting contrast to Harry Crews and, more so, Jim Thompson, who shows how much can be done with so little. Pop. 1280 takes place in the ...more
Mycroft Webb
The main character in The Statement is Pierre Brossard, an aged frenchman on the run from his past as a nazi-accomplice during occupied WW2 france.

For 40 years, he has been aided and sheltered by the Catholic Church in France and supported by some former friends, but the noose is tightening and his life is being threatened by Jewish assassins and he is being hunted by the authorities.

It is a quick read and gives a fast-paced story that gives some insight into recent French history and hints at
...more
Judy
Apr 28, 2016 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listening to the audio of this book was a challenge for me because of the French names and places. (Surely wish I had taken French or my Father had spoken the little he knew when I was small.) I wanted to read the book, however, both because of the subject matter and it is a new author to me. My library only has the audio; so . . . It tells the story of a former pro-Nazi Vichy military officer, who has escaped punishment for killing Jews. Pierre Brossard has been on the run for four decades at ...more
Maryan
Jul 13, 2012 Maryan rated it liked it
I decided to read this book after recently seeing the movie and then reading Norman Jewison's autobiography This Terrible Business has been Good to Me. I was curious to see how Jewison adapted the novel to make the movie. The movie was quite true to the book - the suspense skillfully builds and the character of an ex-Nazi sympathiser and murderer of Jews explored as he is being hunted by groups who no longer find it convenient to shelter him many decades later. Michael Cane, in the movie, does a ...more
Joje
Jun 20, 2010 Joje rated it liked it
An interesting read, yet not as gripping as Lies of Silence, perhaps because of Moore's distance from the place and the type of subject, who is another man of principle, sort of. The verdict is out on that, in fact, even at the end of the book despite our seeing more of his thoughts than of any other character. We needed more of the juge d'instruction to match her place in the book and to balance the other lay legal group (all males), while the clerics worked quite well as a mixed group: we saw ...more
Dona Matthews
Apr 16, 2012 Dona Matthews rated it really liked it
I recently read 'Lies of Silence,' one of Brian Moore's other books, and am now in the process of reading them all. ('The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne' was a compulsory school high school novel that was desiccated in our analyses, and sadly put me off his work until now.) 'The Statement' is as brilliant as 'Lies of Silence,' and entirely different. This one is set in France in the 1980s, and follows a Nazi war criminal who's been hidden by friends in the Catholic church for the past 40 years. ...more
Crystal
Dec 13, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gloria
Aug 12, 2014 Gloria rated it liked it
The statement by Brian Moore is a relatively quick, fast paced read. It tells the story of Pierre Brossard who was involved in the capture and transportation of Jews during WW2.
When the war ended Brossard went ‘on the run’ and was hidden & protected by senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church in France for 40 years.
Now his past is catching up with him and Jewish assassins along with the authorities are close to tracking him down. As the ‘net closes in’ church figures are no longer prepar
...more
Pa
Mar 15, 2013 Pa rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in the Vichy Government and/or suspense
This is a moderately interesting story of a French collaborator with the Nazis who, some fifty years later, is hunted both by certain French authorities, who wish to capture him, and a vigilante group that wishes to kill him. For years he has been protected both by individuals within the Catholic church and by some French authorities, but now that protection is breaking down and he is left with fewer and fewer options.
This is an interesting twist inasmuch as the main character is an aging but s
...more
Miriam
Mar 23, 2015 Miriam rated it it was ok
A French WWII collaborator who is hidden by various members of the Church is being hunted, seemingly by a group of Jews out for revenge. Some aspects of the identity of the assassins just don't make sense. It also doesn't make sense that the collaborator never notices that the only way his whereabouts can be known is because he is being betrayed. The is only the first, and most annoying, of the novel's many problems: hidden identities never get revealed, people pop up for no good reason and ...more
Nancy
Feb 01, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
A quick read and interesting book in that its told from the perspective of the villain Brossard. He’s made just likeable enough you find yourself rooting for him, but Moore pulls us back from empathy by giving glimpses of his true character; such as when he kicks the blind dog in the neck and makes derogatory racial comments. The parts about the Catholic Church are interesting and surprising—how the priests take Brossard at his word. I guess the lesson here is that the priest may give us ...more
Connie
Aug 22, 2012 Connie rated it really liked it
Pierre Brossard, though given a pardon for his part in the killing of Jews in World War 2, is a man on the run in his native France. Forty years later there are threats on his life. Can this escape artist trust those who have given him safety in the past? From the jacket: "In Brossard, he (Moore) has succeeded in giving abysmal evil an indelibly human face" (My emotions for or against the protagonist swerved from escape to escape.) "and in the figures of both Brossard's protectors and pursuers, ...more
Andrew
Dec 04, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brian-moore
Excellent atmosphere of aimless drifting in the south of France gives a feel like the (original) Day of the Jackal movie with the same malevolence and twisting journey.

Interesting plot with Moore's eternal church theme, based around the life of Paul Touvier. As is frequent in Moore novels there are extra characters who get less developed and take some light away from the depth of the protagonists.

Excellent, sparse writing where every word counts. Somewhat abrupt ending that jars, but apt for a l
...more
Irving Koppel
Mar 18, 2014 Irving Koppel rated it really liked it

Brian Moore's "The Statement" is a very fast-paced account of the
French government's attempt to find someone who had collaborated with
the Nazis during the occupation. This person had been able to conceal
himself,with the help of the Catholic Church,for 50 years. Now the police
are beginning to close in. What the fugitive tries to do and how the
issue is resolved proves very surprising. I highly recommend this book
to those who love a good mystery.

Carolyn Mck
Jan 08, 2016 Carolyn Mck rated it liked it
Moore is interested in Catholicism and how the church does (or does not) support the weak and persecuted. This novel is about an old man who participated in the deportation and execution of Jews during the Vichy regime in France and who has been given a new identity and support by circles within the Catholic church (and perhaps by others within the French government). It is crisply written, easy to read and though-provoking.
Mary
Aug 05, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Intrigued by the book's description about a WWII war "criminal" on the run, I picked this up at the library. Although fast paced, the story did not flesh out enough background on the characters and the ending was completely abrupt an unsatisfying. It reads like a 2nd draft of the book and could have been expanded much more with a better ending. I have no idea how this became a national bestseller unless the agent put in bulk orders to move it up on the bestseller list.
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Thriller 1 2 Apr 23, 2014 12:55PM  
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Brian Moore (1921–1999) was born into a large, devoutly Catholic family in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His father was a surgeon and lecturer, and his mother had been a nurse. Moore left Ireland during World War II and in 1948 moved to Canada, where he worked for the Montreal Gazette, married his first wife, and began to write potboilers under various pen names, as he would continue to do throughout ...more
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