Synopses & Reviews
"Probably one of the most significant novels of this year."L'Express
"As soon as you open Monsieur Le Commandant you will not be able to put it down, such is Slocombe's affinity for his subject matter. . . . His virtuosity and manner of storytelling reveal true talent. . . . Go out and buy a copy of Monsieur Le Commandant as soon as you can. Read it; you'll be glad you did."Le Point
"The novel is, in a unique way, a powerful piece of Resistance literature."La Vie
French Academician and Nazi sympathizer Paul-Jean Husson writes a letter to his local SS officer in the autumn of 1942.
Tormented by an illicit passion for Ilse, his German daughter-in-law, Husson has made a decision that will devastate several lives, including his own.
The letter is intended to explain his actions. It is a dramatic, sometimes harrowing story that begins in the years leading up to the war, when following the accidental drowning of his daughter, Husson's previously gilded life begins to unravel.
And through Husson's confession, Romain Slocombe gives the reader a startling picture of a man's journey: from pillar of the French Establishment and World War One hero to outspoken supporter of Nazi ideology and the Vichy government.
Romain Slocombe is a writer, director, translator, illustrator, cartoonist, and photographer. He was born in Paris in 1953.
"An intrigue-filled story set in a grimly fascinating period of history does not make up for a lack of characterization in Slocombe's first novel to be published in the U.S., which presents itself as a French collaborator's letter to a German SS officer during the Occupation. As the story begins in pre-WWII France, Paul-Jean Husson is a successful, critically acclaimed writer of fiction, drama, and verse. With his wife, Marguerite, he has two grown children, Jeanne and Olivier. He is also a Nazi sympathizer who feels that France has become 'gangrenous with the corrupting individualism born of that absurd republican theory of human rights.' Olivier, a violinist, returns from a trip to Berlin with the Paris Symphony with a German actress, Elsie Berger, and Paul-Jean is pleased, as well as strongly attracted to Elsie. When Olivier and Elsie marry two years later, in 1934, however, Paul-Jean starts to suspect she is Jewish, which, if true, would have dire consequences for the family after the Nazi takeover. The problem here is not Paul-Jean's loathsomeness but that he is written as little more than a caricature. The fact that the book is told from his point of view anchors the narrative in the shallowest of waters." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
French Academician and Nazi sympathiser Paul-Jean Husson writes a letter to his local SS officer in 1942, with shocking consequences.
About the Author
Romain Slocombe: Romain Slocombe is a writer, director, translator, illustrator, cartoonist and photographer. He was born in Paris in 1953.
Jesse Browner: Jesse Browner is an author and translator. He lives in lower Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.