The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception Paperback – 6 Jul 2017
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"This is the sort of story I dreamed of covering when I was a journalist. The sort of story for which the phrase You couldn’t make it up was invented. The Adversary takes a deep, mesmerising dive into the darkness of a human soul. There were moments when I truly could not believe what I was reading. But unlike other serial killer noirs sitting on my shelves, this horror is real. And so much more chilling for that." (Fiona Barton, author of The Widow)
"The story told here is truly beyond the imagination for even the best crime writer" (Sunday Times)
"The mesmerizing true crime tale of an apparently ordinary man whose life mutates in the space of a few blood-splattering hours from the realm of Renoir to that of Stephen King" (People)
"He’s the best kind of writer, not just a bestseller but a man who is not afraid to leave the comfort zone of his desk, go out into the world, take risks, and get his shoes dirty" (Observer)
"A triumph of insight and concision, brilliant both as a psychological study and as the portrayal of a community" (Blake Morrison Independent on Sunday)
"A masterpiece... It's a level of moral discomfort almost without equal in literature" (New York Times)
"Savagely intense and utterly compelling... This is his paciest and cleanest-cut book...few books could better deserve a second chance to find new readers" (Sunday Times)
"The Adversary is exactly the idea I have of a modern novel: struggling deftly with facts and with itself" (Laurent Binet, author of HHhH)
"An absolutely stunning piece of work, totally involving and unforgettable" (Evening Standard)
"Unputdownable... Imagine a sleek, twenty-first century version of In Cold Blood" (Washington Post)
About the Author
Emmanuel Carrère, novelist, filmmaker, journalist, and biographer, is the award-winning internationally renowned author of The Adversary (a Sunday Times bestseller and New York Times Notable Book, translated into twenty-three languages), Lives Other Than My Own, My Life as a Russian Novel, Class Trip, Limonov (winner of the 2011 Prix Renaudot), The Mustache and, most recently, The Kingdom.
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What makes this case unusual is the fact that the perpetrator was an intelligent, family man who lived in a well-to-do village in an area close to the Swiss border. He and his wife were familiar and valued members of their community and could afford to send their two children to a private school. They enjoyed the good things in life like fine food in expensive restaurants and going to the opera etc. Jean-Claude Romand was, to all intents and purposes, a successful man who was known to his family and friends as an influential and respected doctor who worked as a researcher for the World Health Organisation. But, as this book reveals, his life was a sham. For 18 years he lived a lie - and got away with it. However, in January, 1993 his bubble burst and he went on a killing spree....
The author, Emmanuel Carrere, has written an unnerving book which gives a really good insight to Jean-Claude Romand and the fantasy life he created for himself. Romand's lies were in fact so convincing that he appeared to believe them himself! It is suggested by some that he suffered from Narcissistic personality disorder - maybe this goes some way towards explaining his double life, but it really doesn't scratch the surface when it comes to understanding why Romand would resort to planning, then methodically killing, members of his own family. At times, this makes for uncomfortable reading but it's compelling all the same.
I came to this after reading Carrere's P K Dick biography, which is also excellent.
He seems to get inside the head of his subject and I'm pretty sure he would have been a very good psychologist.
But in certain parts I had to put this book down as it saddened me so much. Be warned.
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Read it, it will perhaps help empathic altruists to realise that people are not...Read more