The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception

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9780312420604: The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception

Now a major motion picture starring Daniel Auteuil (Sade, Girl on the Bridge, Jean de Florette) directed by Nicole Garcia (Place Vendome)

Acclaimed master of psychological suspense, Emmanuel Carrère, whose fiction John Updike described as "stunning" (The New Yorker) explores the double life of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

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Review:

Too mortified to admit that he has missed a crucial medical school exam, Jean-Claude Romand decides instead to lie. It's the pitiful act of a desperate man that turns into a full-time charade, and as the lies pile up Romand manages to convince everyone--his wife, best friend, parents, in-laws, and mistress--that he is a doctor with the World Health Organization. When it all starts to unravel some 18 years later, Romand tries to cover up his deception by killing his family and making a feeble attempt at killing himself. The Adversary is a haunting, incredible story, superbly told by Emmanuel Carrère, a fellow Frenchman who goes beyond the obvious speculation to pursue Romand's psychological inner workings. Is it torment and guilt that haunts Romand as he spends his days reading newspapers and taking notes in remote cafés, holing up in airport hotels to feign business trips, and living off of his relatives' money on the pretence that he is investing it for them? Or is there a deeper evil that makes it possible for him to live in this web of deception, forever on the edge of discovery? Carrère, who developed a relationship with Romand before and after the high-profile 1990s trial, inserts his own thoughts as he retraces Romand's path. The writing, flush with biblical and philosophical references, is graceful and thought-provoking. You'll catch yourself reading passages over and over. It's a thinking person's In Cold Blood, only more chilling because the killer comes from within. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

About the Author:

Emmanuel Carrère is one of France's most critically acclaimed writers, author of screenplays, a biography of Philip K. Dick, and two novels, including Class Trip, which won the prestigious Prix Femina. A major bestseller in France, The Adversary is being published in eighteen countries. Carrère lives in Paris.

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