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The President's Hat

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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.

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.

208 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Antoine Laurain

31 books561 followers
Antoine Laurain (born 1972) is a French author. He previously worked as a screenwriter and antiques dealer.

His first novel "The Portrait" was published in 2007 and he achieved wide international acclaim with "The Red Notebook". Since then his works have been translated into 14 languages and partly made into films.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 943 reviews
Profile Image for Richard (on hiatus).
160 reviews182 followers
July 29, 2019
Daniel Mercier buys himself a meal in a smart Parisian Brasserie. He’s having a hard time at work and missing his wife and son, who are away for a few days. Fresh seafood and a chilled bottle of expensive white wine seems a fitting treat to lift his spirits.
Three distinguished gentlemen sit down at the next table, one of them, to Daniel’s amazement, turns out to be Francois Mitterrand the French president!
Daniel is excited to spend time in such rarified company and is further surprised when the premiere inadvertantly leaves his hat on the shared bench seat.
Thus begins this slim novel, The Presidents Hat by Antoine Laurain.
The stylish hat starts a journey and is passed, haphazardly through an unconnected group of Parisians. It is the theme that connects a finely drawn and humorous series of vignettes.
The hat manages to subtly change the fortunes of those that wear it. It seems to bring positive changes wherever it lands - a shift in mood, some good luck, a little bit of magic and a surge in the self confidence of the wearer.
The President’s Hat is elegantly written, quirky and profound.
A lovely, memorable little book.
Profile Image for Nat K.
415 reviews154 followers
August 3, 2019

”Sometimes life carries you in different directions and you don't even realise you've gone down a fork in the road...”

J'adore! J'adore!! J'adore!!! Oh my goodness, what is it about Antoine Laurain's writing that just gets to me "so".

I have to admit to shedding a little tear at the end, as it was just tied together so beautifully, and there is this amazing melting moment in Venice. But you'll have to read it to find out what this is...

”Could a felt hat have the power to change lives?”

So asks the blurb on the back cover of this book. And the answer is…yes. Unequivocally, mysteriously it can.

1986, Paris, France. A black felt hat. A Homburg. The original owner being the French President François Mitterrand. Who accidentally leaves it behind after dining in an elegant Parisian brasserie. And so begins the hat’s journey to four temporary caretakers thereafter. While they have this hat in their lives, they find things turn around for them, their lives move forward, as if some unseen hand is moving the puzzle pieces to fit.

How can it be possible that an inanimate object can act as such a good luck charm? Think of an item that is important to you. A memento of sentimental value. Something that brings you joy or comfort. That makes you stand taller. Smile. Or helps you feel more confident. Believe in yourself.

Well this hat sprinkles faery dust over the wearer for long enough that changes fall into place like a spell has been cast. Then it moves onto the next person. Could it be the hat that is helping these changes to take place?

Our cast of players who are swept up in the magic hat’s path are:

Daniel Mercier - who was dining at the brasserie at the same time as President Mitterrand. It is he who first “borrowed” the hat rather than hand it in to staff at a the restaurant. He’s an all-round nice guy & family man. He’s also tired of being a deputy to a bullying departmental head who is making everyone’s life a misery. He’s ready for a long overdue promotion at work.

Fanny Marquant - a woman who is no longer satisfied with the status of being a long term mistress to a man who “still needs time” to leave his wife. What started as a romantic tryst has lost its charm. A quickie a few times a month just isn’t fulfilling anymore, and she wants more.

Pierre Aslan* - a star perfumier (aka “nose”) who has not created a scent for eight years. Both his mojo and muse have left him; he is suffering from a crippling creative block and is a disappointment to himself. But how to get the juices going again?

Bernard Lavilliére - after a disastrous dinner party where he insulted his apparent close friends, he questions his and his wife's lifestyle. And the true meaning of friendship. Does going to the same universities and same parties mean that this social circle actually care about you? An interesting turn around in thought patterns and social classes begin to stir in Bernard's mind, as he dips his toes into the world of art, and starts to collect works by the then unknown Jean-Michel Basquiat.

I have to say that the part about Pierre Aslan was my favourite. I adored the scene where he set himself the task of walking through the gardens to the Louvre, his goal being to identify as many of the “scents” people were wearing as possible. So many gorgeous fragrances were named! I had to smile as I have worn many of them (it was a trip down memory lane for me). Only a Frenchman could have written a scene as delightful as this 💕

I wanted something lighthearted to read to lift my spirits. My mind kept wandering back to Richard’s fab review of this book, and I knew this was the book I needed.

But don’t be fooled! Light hearted it may be, but the vignettes about the characters have depth and nuance. Like an extravagantly well made chocolate mousse, that melts on the tongue…where you can taste so many more different flavours than just the chocolate.

Having recently read “The Red Notebook” with Collin (loved!) it was nice to again slip between the covers of another Antoine Laurain book. This guy does quirky & whimsy with the most delightful Gallic flare.

Gorgeous, lyrical & utterly enchanting. I cannot rave enough about the simple beauty of this book.

Make sure you check out Richard’s review at…

* Pierre Aslan – I can’t help but wonder if his surname was an intentional choice? The book does have Narnia like qualities. You just have to believe in the magic 🍃

PS: If anyone finds this hat, you know where I am...
Profile Image for Demis.
146 reviews27 followers
August 13, 2015
Loved it. A sweet little story, well-realised characters... gave me a real feeling of that magic I used to get reading stories as a kid, except instead of dragons, monsters and knights, it was all about the oysters, perfumes and Parisian parks I know all too well.

It's a quick read - anyone looking for a wonderful way to waste your afternoon, this one's a treat.
Profile Image for Jane.
820 reviews615 followers
April 28, 2013
“If you want to get ahead get a hat”

It’s a play on words, used as an advertising slogan in the UK in the 1940s. It would seem that those words struck a chord, as they remain in the public consciousness to this day. Maybe that’s because they’re true.

They certainly were in Paris, in 1986.

Daniel Mercier was an accountant, with a career that was solid but not spectacular.

One evening, when his wife and child were away, he decided that he would treat himself to a lovely meal and a good bottle of wine at a smart brassiere. While he eating a man sat down on the banquette next to him: Daniel was amazed to find himself sitting alongside President Mitterrand, who was dining with a couple of associates.

Daniel was thrilled: he would have a wonderful memory and a fine tale to tell!

The Presidents HatWhen the presidential party left the president left his hat behind. Nobody noticed, and so Daniel tried it on. The president’s hat! He rather liked it and so he walked out of the restaurant wearing it.

And then his whole life seems to changed. He was more confident at work, more ready to speak out, and he impressed his colleagues and his superiors. He won a fine promotion.

But then Daniel lost the hat.

A young woman writer found it. She tried it on, she rather liked it, and as there was no sign of the owner she kept it. The hat gave her the confidence to change her life, but then she lost it.

Somebody else picked it up, their life changed, and then they lost the hat. And so it went on.

Daniel was the only one who knew where the hat had come from, and so he was the only one who chased it. That tied the stories together, making this a proper novel with a beginning, a middle and an end, rather than a series of linked stories.

The story of the president’s hat says much about what many things. Big things. Love, work, creativity, recovery, hope, politics …. It says that small things, random chances, can change the course of a life. And it says that you really should reach out for your dream.

But, of course, the big question is this: does the power lie within the hat, or does it simply awaken the power in each individual who wears it. That question stays up in the air, but I know what I think.

The setting – Paris nearly thirty years ago – was perfect. Long enough ago to be nostalgic, recent enough to be familiar, and could you really imagine this story anywhere else but Paris?

I found it very easy to keep turning pages. The style was light and bright, the stories were charming, and I always wanted to know what was happen enough.

There was just enough substance, just enough to think about.

And the ending was perfect.
Profile Image for Claire.
652 reviews279 followers
June 16, 2015
Another success from Antoine Laurain. Fable-like it follows the subsequent wearers of The French President during the 1980's Francois Mitterand after he leaves it in a Parisian brasserie.

The hat continues to be left and each person who becomes its temporary caretaker experiences something new and transfromative in their lives.

Impossible to put down, uplifting and a joy to read, it is wonderful to come across one of those 'turn-to' authors when in need of a literary pick-me-up or just a fun read!

My complete review here at Word by Word.
Profile Image for Deborah.
736 reviews50 followers
March 29, 2020
Set in the 1980s in Paris, President Francois Mitterrand leaves his hat behind in a brasserie. Daniel Mercier, another restaurant patron, decides to take the president’s black felt hat. The hat imbues confidence causing those who possess it to each take action to change his or life starting with Mercier to aspiring writer Fanny Marquant, perfumer Pierre Aslan, and Bernard Lavallière experiencing a mid-life crisis. A darling and optimistic story recalling a less technological time and French impulsiveness. I recommend you read this gem if you just want to enjoy a lighthearted good book.
226 reviews109 followers
January 31, 2018
طی یک سری حوادث و اتفاقات کاملا تصادفی کلاه رئیس جمهور بین افراد مختلفی دست به دست میشه و بدون اینکه اطلاعی از مالک اصلی کلاه داشته باشن، روند زندگیشون رو دچار تغییر میکنه. حضور این کلاه در زندگی این افراد، به اون ها جسارتی میده که پیش از اون هرگز نداشتن و به لطف این کلاه جسارت به وجود آوردن تغییراتی جدی در زندگیشون رو پیدا می کنن.
بعد از کتاب "دفترچه یادداشت قرمز" این دومین اثریه که از آنتوان لورین خوندم. ایده ی این کتاب هم بنظرم جالب و خلاقانه بود. بیش از اون اشاره به این نکته رو دوست داشتم که خیلی از مواقع رسیدن به موفقیت های بزرگ زندگی فقط نیازمند داشتن جسارت، شجاعت و اعتماد به نفس به وجود آوردن تغییراته..
در کل کتاب جالبی بود ولی من همچنان دفترچه یادداشت قرمز رو بیشتر دوست دارم.
Profile Image for Bianca.
1,047 reviews902 followers
August 24, 2016
"The President's Hat" is another charming novel by the French writer Antoine Laurain.

I loved his "Red Notebook", so when I spotted this on Netgalley, I had to request it. Many thanks to the publishers, Gallic Books, for allowing me to read it.

The President's Hat is about the French President, Francois Mitterand's hat. I've grown up hearing about him. He was the French president for a very long time (14 years!).

The story takes place in 1986. Daniel Mercier finds himself in a brasserie, enjoying a quiet dinner by himself. At the table next to him sits Francois Mitterand and two other people. The President and his entourage leave, but Mitterand leaves his hat behind. Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir.

Unbeknownst to him, things start changing for the better. He gets a promotion at work. The unthinkable happens: he forgets the hat on the train.

I will try not to give too much away. I will just say that the hat changes owners from Daniel Mercier to a young woman, Fanny Marquant, then to Pierre Aslan, a perfume maker, and to Bernard Lavalliere, an affluent Frenchman, part of the rich, conservative elite.

The hat seems to influence and provoke changes in the lives of all those who have it in their possession. They know it's the hat. Besides Daniel Mercier, none of them knows of its provenance.
I'll leave it at that.

This is a short novel that reads like a fable. I especially enjoyed the 80s references. While I'm not French, I recognised many of them.

Antoine Laurain's writing is deceptively simple, but it flows beautifully. Obviously, the translator (I couldn't find who it was) did a wonderful job translating it.

I thought the story was very original and very well written and its conclusion was very satisfying.

Antoine Laurain's writing and stories have a "je ne sais quoi" quality to them that really appeals to me. I read that this novel/novella was turned into a movie. I wouldn't mind watching it, especially since I'm a French movie fan.

Très agréable!

4.5 stars

I've received this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the publishers for the opportunity to read and review.

Cover: 5 stars
Profile Image for Jae.
373 reviews38 followers
May 22, 2020
"Sometimes life carries you in different directions and you don't even realise you've gone down a fork in the road; the great GPS of destiny has not followed the planned route and there has been no sign to indicate you've passed the point of no return. Life's Bermuda Triangle is both myth and reality."
Profile Image for Susan.
502 reviews34 followers
November 2, 2016
Could a hat absorb the qualities of the person who's head it's been sitting on?
In this delightfully quirky story, the lost hat of the President of France seems to change the lives of those who wear it, making them bolder and more confident, and therefore allowing them to make the choices that could change their lives for the better.
It all begins when Danielle finds himself dining in close proximity to the leader of his country, who leaves behind his hat. The temptation is too great for Danielle, who decides to keep it as a memento of what has been a very special evening.
And so begins a series of events that sees the hat change the lives of those who come, completely by chance, to wear it......but does the hat have an influence over who that wearer will be........
Profile Image for Arash.
246 reviews96 followers
May 24, 2023

چطور ممکن است به همین سادگی از زندگی کسی محو شوی؟ شاید، وقتی همه ی کارها را انجام دادی و همه ی چیزها را گفتی، آن وقت به همان سادگی که وارد زندگی اش شدی، از آن بیرون می روی. فقط یک ضربه ی تقدیر و چند کلمه ممکن است آغازگر یک رابطه باشد، و فقط یک ضربه ی تقدیر و چند کلمه ممکن است یک رابطه را پایان دهد. پیش از آن، هیچ، و پس از آن هیچ.


در زبان عامیانه اگر بخواهیم اوج اعتماد به نفس را مثال بزنیم می گوییم اگر من اعتماد به نفس داشتم، الان رئیس جمهور بودم. همه چیز از یک کلاه شروع شد، کلاهی که بر سر هرکس که رفت اوج اعتماد به نفس رو به اون فرد داد. البته به همین راحتی که کلاه رو بدست آوردن، به همون راحتی هم از دست دادن. خوشبختی ماندنی نیست و لغزنده است، باید اون رو سفت چسبید وگرنه مثل کلاه رئیس جمهور ما زود از دستت میره یا میدزدنش.
Profile Image for blueisthenewpink.
445 reviews39 followers
December 13, 2021
Mikre nem képes egy madártoll vagy a francia elnök kalapja! Néha mindenkire ráférne egy kis önbecsülés-javítás, hogy rendbe rakjuk a rendberakni valót az életünkben. Aztán kiderül, hogy már nincs is szükség a varázserővel bíró tárgyra.

Helyes volt, kellemesen szokatlan figurákkal, pörgős cselekmény, remek kikapcsolódás.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,389 reviews210 followers
February 10, 2017
One for lovers of whimsy...

Daniel Mercier is eating alone one night in a restaurant when François Mitterrand, President of France, and some friends settle themselves at the next table. Daniel is thrilled to be so close to the great man, and begins to imagine that he's part of the President's group. When they leave the restaurant, Daniel notices that Mitterrand has accidentally left his signature black hat behind. Succumbing to an overwhelming temptation, Daniel picks it up, crams it on his own head, and scuttles quickly out of the restaurant before Mitterrand notices and comes back for it. The strange thing is that, almost immediately he acquires the hat, Daniel, usually a rather diffident and anxious young man, finds his confidence growing and his bosses appreciating him more. So when he in turn accidentally leaves the hat on a train, he is very upset. But the woman who picks it up suddenly finds the desire and courage to change her own rather unhappy life...

And so the story progresses, with the hat being passed from one person to another. In each case, we learn a bit about their story and then see how the possession of the hat leads them to make fundamental changes for the better in their lives. The book is well-written and quite entertaining, though undoubtedly a little on the twee side for me. The stories vary in their interest level. One that I enjoyed tells of a 'nose' – a man who used to have a glowing reputation for creating lovely and highly successful perfumes, but who in recent years seems to have lost the knack. The descriptions of how he finds himself inspired by various smells that he comes across and how he then goes about recreating these is done well, and I enjoyed the idea of him being able to identify the scent each person he met was wearing. Other episodes were less successful for me – like the man who found his entire political outlook on life changing as a result of wearing the hat. Even whimsy must have some basis in reality, and the idea that one shows one's conversion to socialism by buying up lots of expensive art to hang around one's home seemed a little odd.

It's not a book to over-analyse, but... well, when did that ever stop me? ;) I found it intriguing in an irritating kind of way that all the men in the book were inspired to change either their working or political lives, while the solitary (beautiful, of course) woman's story is one of breaking off a romantic relationship where she's being used, and then finding true love. The book was written, I believe, in 2012 – have we really not got beyond these stereotypes? I also didn't much care for the portrayal of Mitterrand – a man I know almost nothing about, so it's not that I have a bias. In the book he comes over as rather creepy, misusing his position as President to use the Secret Service for personal rather than political purposes, and lasciviously drooling over a photo of the woman who briefly has his hat. For all I know, this might be an accurate portrayal, but even if it is, it didn't feel right in a book as frothy and fanciful as this one is.

Still, it is quite readable and lightly enjoyable for the most part, so I'll stop criticising now. Not one that worked terribly well for me, as you'll have gathered, but I'm sure will work better for people who are more skilled than I am at immersing themselves fully in a bit of whimsy...

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Gallic Books.

Profile Image for Denise.
662 reviews59 followers
January 30, 2019
A short novel about the adventures of a unique hat may not sound like much, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. I am loving Antoine Laurain's magical short stories!
Profile Image for N D.
18 reviews2 followers
August 4, 2019
I read this book based on a review by Richard, posted here on Goodreads not that long ago. It is an absolutely delightful read and I don't think I can add anything to Richard's excellent review. A short novel full of wonderful insights into the frailty of human character, this is a little gem.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,595 reviews163 followers
July 19, 2016
This was really a series of short stores, cleverly cobbled together by the president’s miraculous hat. It started out very interestingly, and got better as it went along and the stories all came together.
Profile Image for Glenda.
174 reviews3 followers
April 13, 2022
I enjoyed "The Red Notebook" so much that I bought my own copy and three other of Laurain's novels. I'm happy I did. "The President's Hat" is another delightful, well-told, intriguing story. Easily read, it captured my attention from the start. So much so that I startled my husband with my gasp at the first twist in the tale. Having read it prior to me, he smiled when I told him what had happened. A story about a hat doesn't seem like it could be interesting, but it is. I recommend you buy your own copy of this delightful novel.
Profile Image for Nancy McKibben.
Author 4 books7 followers
January 7, 2014
The President’s Hat
By Antoine Laurain

A French novel in translation, The President’s Hat is a sweet bit of whimsy. Daniel Mercier, an everyday sort of accountant, inadvertently finds himself seated next to President Francois Mitterand at a brasserie; when Mitterand forgets his hat, Mercier appropriates it as a souvenir of the evening he sat next to the President. But when he dons the black hat, he feels transformed.
He felt as if his brain was bathed in a refreshing dose of sparkling aspirin. Bubbles of oxygen were fizzing through zones that had slumbered for too long.
In short order, the hat extracts his life from the rut in which it was stuck. But alas (or hélas, in French), Daniel, too leaves the black hat behind him on a train, where Fanny, a young woman becalmed in an affair with a married man, picks it up and puts it on to protect her hair from the rain.
The black felt brim acted like a visor, compressing the space around her and marking out a distinct horizon. In Batignolles, a man did a double take as he passed her. What kind of image was she projecting, walking along in the moonlight in her denim mini-skirt, high heels, silver jacket, and black hat? . . .The hat gave her jaw line a new air of distinction; she had put her hair up in a bun to help keep it in place. Perhaps she should always wear it up like this and put on a new black hat every time she went out. Donning the new accessory had made her feel somehow powerful; it had the same effect as the designer clothes she so rarely treated herself to.
The hat changes Fanny’s life, too, but rather than forget it, she generously leaves it on a park bench for the next lucky wearer, a perfumier who has lost his nose . . .

But not to give away any more of the plot. This little book is gracefully done: witty, wry, Gallic, and unpretentious, an enchanting glimpse into the lives of a few Parisian citizens, fortunate beneficiaries of the President’s Hat.

Profile Image for Danielle Bauter.
31 reviews1 follower
November 30, 2014
What a charming book from start to finish! This cleverly paced novel from a French author is the story of a hat's journey from its original owner (former French president Francois Mitterand) to a number of individuals who also take a turn with it. The magic of the story is the unraveling of how the hat transforms the lives of each of them in different ways. And how everything comes full circle in the end. A thoroughly satisfying read, I savored every page and was sad to have it end.
Profile Image for Sarah.
800 reviews
December 2, 2021
I really love Antoine Laurain's writing style, it's very poetic. This short novel is, in fact, several little stories in one, following François Mitterrand's hat around, and I enjoyed them all, although I prefer "The Red Notebook".
Profile Image for Diana.
483 reviews33 followers
December 16, 2022
A second read of this excellent book. Probably my favourite book of the last ten years and definitely my favourite author. ❤️
Profile Image for Simona.
181 reviews27 followers
May 24, 2020
Velmi svieze, krasne, oddychove. Uzasne opisy miest, bola som s nimi v kazdej parizskej restauracii ci v kazdom parku.
Profile Image for Gilly.
65 reviews
November 11, 2022
Beautifully written and translated seamlessly from the original French, this gentle modern fable, set mostly in 1980s Paris with tons of real-life cultural references, is sweet, nostalgic, poignant, funny and optimistic - with a great twist at the end. Although the story is quite different, it evokes the same feel-good vibe as one of my absolute favourites, Helene Hanff's "84, Charing Cross Road". A sheer delight!
Profile Image for Maine Colonial.
619 reviews169 followers
July 16, 2020
This is a light, short novel, but that doesn’t mean it’s trivial. Laurain introduces us to four characters whose lives are transformed, seemingly by the influence of the hat of the title. The story is charming, quirky and heart-warming.

The multi-cast audiobook is performed well.
Profile Image for PuPilla.
791 reviews83 followers
April 12, 2021
Egy újabb francia kedvenc! Imádnivaló történet, érdekes sorsfonalakkal, amik mint Mitterand kalapjának kacskaringós útjához kapcsolódnak...
A karakterek emberiek, az átvezetések gördülékenyek, és végül minden összeér.
Remek kikapcsolódást nyújtott, nagyon élveztem olvasni, azt hiszem most már mindent elolvasnék Lauraintól. ♥

Hamarosan bővebben a blogon.
Profile Image for Hanna.
104 reviews5 followers
February 19, 2023
En otroligt mysig, underhållande och välskriven bok. Berättelsen om presidentens hatt – dess resa och dess verkan – är ett finurligt grepp som på ett väldigt fint sätt ger läsaren inblick i olika sorters liv i Frankrike i slutet av 1900-talet.
Profile Image for Nora.
219 reviews6 followers
March 19, 2021
Oh! I so enjoy Antoine Laurain’s books...alas I must pace myself as there are few titles available by him.
Profile Image for Corinna.
80 reviews18 followers
April 6, 2016
Daniel Mercier ist Strohwitwer. Seine Frau und sein Sohn sind in der Normadie und nach einem langen harten Arbeitstag gönnt sich Daniel ein Abendessen in einer Brasserie. Gerade als er sich genüsslich über die Austern hermachen will bemerkt er die Unruhe am Nachbartisch. Dort setzt sich der Präsident von Frankfreich zum Abendessen hin: Francois Mitterrand. Daniel kann es kaum glauben, er sitzt fast neben dem Staatsoberhaupt von Frankreich. Dieser Moment wird ewig für ihn in Erinnerung bleiben. Als dann der Präsident geht hat er seinen schwarzen Filzhut vergessen. Daniel hadert mich sich nimmt ihn aber schließlich an sich.

Die wichtigsten Ereignisse unseres Lebens sind immer die Folge einer Verkettung winziger Details. Seite 28

Als Daniel mit dem Hut am nächsten Tag zur Arbeit geht hat er das erste Mal den Mut in einer Besprechung seinem Vorgesetzten zu widersprechen und gelangt so an ein neues Jobangebot. Völlig berauscht von seinem Glück, dass er nur dem Hut zu verdanken hat reist er mit seiner Frau und dem Sohn in die neue Stadt, um seinen neuen Posten anzutreten. Doch da geschieht das Unglück. Er verliert den Hut. Doch für den Leser beginnt jetzt erst das Abenteuer. Der Hut wechselt jetzt häufig den Besitzer und doch bringt er allen etwas Gutes. Er verändert ihr Leben immer zum positiven und fördert Eigenschaften zu Tage, die die Menschen entweder schon vergessen haben oder die sie Tief in sich begraben hatten und nicht mehr raus lassen wollten. Doch der Hut lässt ihnen keine Wahl, ohne aufdringlich zu sein bringt er die Menschen dazu über ihr Leben nachzudenken. Durch die Leichtigkeit des Schreibstils bin ich nur so durch die Seiten geflogen, Antoine Laurain schafft es, dass ich dieses Buch nicht mehr aus der Hand legen wollte. Ich musste wissen, was der Hut noch alles schaffen würde. Wie er diese Person dazu bringt sich zu ändern, altes wiederaufzunehmen, mehr Selbstvertrauen zu sich selbst zu bekommen oder mal einen Blick über den eigenen Tellerrand zu werfen und über festgefahrene Sachen nach zu denken.

Das Cover ist ein wahrer absoluter Hingucker. Der rote Hut im Vordergrund und dahinter der Eifelturm. Ein wunderschönes Cover, dass mein Regal bereichert.

Gefangen in einer Geschichte über den Hut habe ich wunderschöne Lesestunden verbracht. Die Geschichte hat mich verzaubert
Profile Image for Mike Smith.
33 reviews5 followers
April 30, 2018
“Governments come and go. Life is the only movement that keeps going."

This book is easily a 5 star read. I have never read anything quite like it, the story is surreal and completely different to my normal reading style. Antoine Laurain has written a beautiful story that is captivating, filled with humour, anticipation and general feel-good feeling.

Based in 1980's France, the President of the Republic, Francois Mitterand is dining in a brasserie when he accidently leaves his signature black felt hat behind. Daniel Mercer, the office worker who was in sheer amazement of dining on the table beside the President see's the opportunity to own a bit of history and takes the hat with him. This kick-starts everything.

Instead of following one particular character we follow the hat through this story. Seeing how the hat can help the "owner" develop in their own way.

A truly lovely book with many 1980's French pop-culture references. A very easy read and highly recommended, even if it wouldn't be your normal reading genre.

I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this and quite ironically find a comparison with the story. I purchased this book in a second hand, charity bookstore on a lunch break when I had left my copy of All Involved at home and had two hours to kill. I picked it up due to the slight political reference to Mitterand and thought nothing more, if I weren't to enjoy it when I hadn't lost much but at least I'd be occupied on my break. Fate? Maybe not.. But hey, it's all about perception right?

And I shall leave you with this...

"As I was saying to Helmut Kohl last week..."
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