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The Statement Paperback – 7 Nov 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (7 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408826178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408826171
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Once you have opened its first page you won't be able to stop reading. A superbly plotted story with a brilliant twist' (A.N. Wilson)

'A thriller with a difference. The plot is as taught as the prose is tight - both qualities reminiscent of Graham Greene' (Sunday Express)

'A thriller in which crises of conscience are as tense as the escalating manhunt' (Guardian)

'The Statement blends conscience and guilt with fast-moving storytelling. Brian Moore is a man of profound human insight as well as a master storyteller ... the most subtle, most readable, least pushy of guides' (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

A reissued edition of Brian Moore's superb thriller

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this less as a tirade against the Church than as an exploration of human frailty. Moore sets out to understand rather than to judge, and the central character, an ex-Nazi on the run being sheltered by priests, is far from a demon.
As so often with Moore, the novel has the pace of a thriller, but the serious questions it raises are very genuine ones about responsibility and judgement. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
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How I miss Brian Moore. He writes beautifully and without flourish, usually on a neglected topic. He makes you think: he wants to explore what is good and evil. He puts you under the skin of some very unpleasant people. He makes you turn the page.
A far better writer than most Booker winners.
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Format: Paperback
Both suspenseful and revelatory, Moore's story of the search for 70-year-old Maurice Brossard, a man who believes he acted righteously when he killed fourteen Jews chosen at random in Dombey, France, during World War II, reveals as much about the character of France and Frenchmen as it does about the man who killed in her name. Maurice Brossard, as a young man, was a member of the milice, an active supporter of Marshall Petain and his Vichy government. Believing that the Resistance was anti-France, consisting primarily of Communists intent upon destroying the country's traditional values, specifically the old Catholic values of the conservative church, Brossard was, for many years, afforded protection from prosecution. A resident guest in numerous abbeys and convents, he was financially supported by conservative groups representing both the church and political factions, eventually receiving a pardon by the French President.
Now, accused of crimes against humanity, he is on the run, this time not knowing who it is who hunts him. A multitude of brotherhoods, many of them secret, are revealed in all their nefarious dealings as they seek to restore the glorious heritage they believe to be at the very heart of French civilization. Conservative priests, supporters of Pope Pius XII's position during the war, schismatic groups, political organizations opposed to the chauvinism of DeGaulle, police who have crimes of their own to hide, and politicians whose own pasts are far from innocent all have an interest in Brossard's life--or death. Additionally, Jewish groups, who feel that justice has not been done, seek retribution.
The suspense here is palpable as various groups seek Brossard for their own ends, and the story is full of action, betrayal, and additional murders.
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The statement by Brian Moore is a relatively quick, fast paced read. It tells the story of Pierre Brossard who was involved in the capture and transportation of Jews during WW2.
When the war ended Brossard went ‘on the run’ and was hidden & protected by senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church in France for 40 years.
Now his past is catching up with him and Jewish assassins along with the authorities are close to tracking him down. As the ‘net closes in’ church figures are no longer prepared to keep him hidden.

A good thriller which takes a different approach to other novels written about WW2.
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Format: Paperback
I simply couldn't put this down until I finished it. This book is superb on so many levels.
Ostensibly it's the story of a septuagenarian Frenchman, Pierre Brossard, still on the run 40 years after committing war time atrocities and now actively being targeted for assassination. It reads like a cross between Day of the Jackal and a well composed travelogue with hints of Rick Stein. Add in various plot twists and turns and this is one hell of a good read.

But it is so much more than that, as it skewers the right wing elements of the French church and state’s amnesia, rank hyprocrisy and ongoing complicity at the highest levels, in protecting those involved in the Vichy collaboration. This has the added punch of being based based very closely on the lives of collaborator Paul Touvier and Minister Maurice Papan.

Where it excels though is the well crafted prose that successfully manages first and third person narratives across multiple chapters, something Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall could have taken some lessons in. He also captures the inner turmoil of Brossard as he vascillates and agonises between genuine contrition for his deeds and yet still murders and robs. But this is dealt with snappily and flowingly unlike the sometimes dull worthy angst typical in Graham Greene’s work.
I can’t recommend it enough and look forward to checking out some of his other works.
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Format: Paperback
The Statement by Brian Moore is a little more than a pursuit thriller. I stress a little more because it genuinely transcends the "who's going to do it" genre, though overall it misses an opportunity to address some important and potentially fascinating ideas.

Pierre Brossard is the original, but not the only name of a politically right-wing Frenchman who worked with a wartime fascist militia in Vichy France. As part of his duties he was responsible for assisting the transport of Jews to Nazi concentration camps and at least once he organised killings, in particular a massacre of fourteen individuals. He was later tried and convicted, though years later a Presidential pardon meant that he was no longer a wanted man. Still one the run, however, he was convicted of a crime against humanity via a judgment and indeed a jurisdiction that not everyone in France either respected or recognised.

Pierre Brossard's rediscovery of his Roman Catholic faith provided him with something more than solace. Through confession he could secure effective pardon, both within his own and also his sympathisers' minds, where forgiveness was not needed. But also he secured effective support within the minds of sincere devotees of the faith, who often declared themselves more interested in a believer's soul than any debt to history or even the human race.

So, on the run for years, Brossard found haven in a series of religious houses where, in effect, he could come and go incognito, almost as he wished. Meanwhile cheques supplying his financial needs arrived regularly from both known and unknown donors, some connected to societies within the Church, societies that also sympathise with a more traditional form of the faith than that emanating from Rome.
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