Monsieur Rene has come upon a great idea. As the Permanent President of the International Brotherhood of Concierges and Hall Porters, he and his service industry brothers are privy to huge amounts of sensitive, exclusive information and gossip from heads of state, world leaders, diplomats, and the wealthy, which they happen to overhear while working in the rooms, dining halls, and elevators of Geneva's finest hotels. As waiters, porters, and servants, they are trusted to be silent about such weighty matters-top secret information that, in the wrong hands, could change the course of world events.
A self-appointed revolutionary humanitarian, M. Rene gathers some of his trusted brothers to reveal his plan to form a secret conspiracy of distinguished servants who will record the conversations of their clients, gather their correspondences, and spy on their actions. M. Rene confides his plan, "It is always at a table that statesmen are at their most unguarded. Waiters have golden opportunities for this kind of work. . . . Who needs spies if they have concierges, waiters, and valets?" Is the purpose bribery or blackmail? Will the power be transferred to those who have none? Will the plan benefit the world, or place free countries in great danger? As these questions arise, the conspiracy brings to light assassinations, secret clauses in treaties, government conspiracies, and more.
What unravels is a novel of suspense, intrigue, and danger, territory that Sir Peter Ustinov has mastered in this original literary triumph. If ever the workers of the world had better reason to come together and seize control of the establishment, this book is it.
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The late Peter Ustinov traveled the globe as an entertainer and actor and served as ambassador at large for UNICEF. For his work in film and the arts he received two Academy Awards, three Emmys, and one Grammy. He was also a producer, director, and playwright, and the author of Life Is an Operetta and Other Short Stories, Add a Dash of Pity, Quotable Ustinov, and Ustinov Still at Large. He was knighted in 1990.From AudioFile:
Monsieur René, a retired concierge in Geneva, is the PermanentPresident of the International Brotherhood of Concierges and HallPorters. At age 70, he is bored. Believing that hotel employees canlearn more about hotel guests than any police organization, MonsieurRené soon becomes a one-man investigative force, working closely withthe Geneva Chief of Police. Author/narrator Peter Ustinov has a greatdeal of fun early on, when his cast of potential hotel-based spiesincludes an Italian, a Brit, a Spaniard, and a German, each speakinghis own brand of accented English. Few narrators are as linguisticallyversatile. As the tale proceeds, the number of voices is reduced, andwe settle down to always identifiable voices. Ustinov fans will beentranced, and all listeners will be thoroughly entertained.R.E.K. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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