Review: The President’s Hat

Who wants to be a milliner..?

We find ourselves following a succession of happenstance hat-acquirers, and observe the changes in their lives that arise from a mysterious emboldening that wearing this particular hat provokes. This is a wonderfully charming, funny, witty, poignant, joyous, quirky little read. I have done nothing but grin at the memory of it for three whole days so far!

The excellent translation means that there is nothing lost of the warmth and humour in Laurian’s unconventional tale of a particularly special hat as travels through 1980’s Paris. So moreish, this novel could easily be devoured in just one sitting, but the picaresque narrative lends itself to commutery nibbling, too!

I am not at all surprised to see so many links to ‘The One Hundred Year Old Man…’ though I feel this little story has a bigger heart. If Winnie-the-Pooh claimed that “Nobody can be uncheered by a balloon” then this Bookseller insists that “Nobody can be uncheered by ‘The President’s Hat’.” I doff my cap to it!

Leilah Skelton

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