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Monsieur Rene: Complete & Unabridged Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Oct 2000

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Chivers Audio Books; Unabridged edition (Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754005593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754005599
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 16.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,877,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Monsieur Rene is a retired widower living in Geneva with a meticulously trimmed moustache, an unused model train set in his loft and only one accolade to his name: his position as Permanent President of the International Brotherhood of Concierges and Hall Porters. Disillusioned with the modern world's corruption, he calls up a motley crew of similarly ageing hoteliers, concierges and valets, pointing out to them that their trade perks--more than personal satisfaction, more than tips--have been secrets which, put to use properly, could turn the world upside down. While his partners start to monitor sensitive international guests at Geneva's top hotels, the Chief of Police gets suspicious and Monsieur Rene discovers the charms of the redoubtable Agnes Schanderlach, Chief Housekeeper at the Bellerive Davel.

Monsieur Rene is a mischievous piece of whimsy, which combines Ustinov's trademark easy cosmopolitanism with some of the cruel edge of Ronald Firbank or the young Evelyn Waugh. Deliberately internationalist in its outlook, its peripheral cast is the modern jetset--the gay grandson of that famously heterosexual philanderer, the Emir of Djabbadieh; a scientific worker from Kazakhstan; a scandal-mired Italian judge. But here they're seen from behind the hotel desk, with eyes which have seen everything before. --Alan Stewart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Pleasant, Witty, Read 27 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
M. Rene is a very pleasant, worldly novel that has all of the charm that one would expect from Ustinov, but also some very real intelligence, obviously the product of a thoughtful life. The writing can be a bit meandering, but I'm more interested in characters than plots, so that was not fatal. The story of an old man having an awakening, having a rebirth of sorts, is a wonderful thing, showing the fact that our lives are always capable of being renewed in spirit. Ustinov also gave us a nice glimpse into Swiss society and into the world of those who work in fashionable hotels, which are doubtless more familiar to him than they are to the rest of us! Overall, I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to those in search of a book with some brains and a sense of humor. Just don't look for a "thrilling, intricate, page-turner of a novel." It's more ruminating than that, and infinitely more satisfying.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An old man's darling 4 Oct. 2006
By Beverley Strong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For some reason I always find that books or movies made by exceptionally clever men like Peter Ustinov or Orson Welles to be just that touch TOO clever and that, somehow, they always miss the mark with me... perhaps my tastes are a bit too plebian to fully appreciate their work. Monsieur Rene is a recently retired hotel concierge who has worked at the top hotels around the world and is acquainted with the leading lights in politics, theatre etc. and knows all of their personal foibles. He had been in a loveless marriage for many years but is happier as a widower until he meets a woman who reignites feelings of passion and, after just one night of love making, opens him up to feelings that he has never before experienced. Rene and a couple of his friends dabble in police matters in an attempt by old men to fill their days with something other than the mundane, and bite off more than they could chew. It's all a bit bland and, unfortunately, I found it neither funny or particularly interesting, much as I have the deepest admitation for Peter Ustinov.
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