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The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys
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The Death of Napoleon

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The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys
Paperback $14.00
May 05, 2015 | ISBN 9781590178423

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  • May 05, 2015 | ISBN 9781590178423

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  • May 05, 2015 | ISBN 9781590178430

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“What a pleasure to read a real writer…The Death of Napoleon is utterly satisfying sentence by sentence and scene by scene, but it is also compulsively readable…By giving us a Napoleon who cannot find how to retrieve [his public] face, Simon Leys throws light on our universal need to bring inner and outer reality together, to understand who we really are. —Gabriel Josipovici, The Times Literary Supplement

“I am glad to report that Simon Leys’s The Death of Napoleon has one hell of an idea—the absurdity of trying to retrieve time or glory—and is written with the grace of a poem.” —Edna O’Brien, The Sunday Times

“Alternative history…is enjoyable and at the same time, like all daydreaming, brings a sensation of guilt. But The Death of Napoleon is also a fable, and Simon Leys is an expert fabulist.” —Penelope Fitzgerald, The New York Times Book Review
“Entertaining and clever, this is a sweetening reminder of the ephemerality of great achievements—and by implication those of the not so great.” —Booklist
“An elegant and engaging piece of alternative history, gently tragic and wryly comic.” —D. J. Enright, The Times Literary Supplement
“A small masterpiece. So much spirit, so much insolence, and so much emotion joined in so few pages overwhelmingly earn the reader’s enthusiasm and praise. One closes the book regretfully, sincerely hoping that Simon Leys will not stop there.” —Corinne Desportes, Le Magazine Littéraire
“Powerful, touching—and delightful, too—this invention of a post-Waterloo career led by Bonaparte—not on St. Helena.” —Francis Steegmuller

“[Simon Leys’s] beautiful, small novel…[by] an elegant stylist who brought to all of his subjects both lightness of wit and philosophical depth, and The Death of Napoleon is a case in point. Beyond the delightful invention and whimsy, this comic tale of Napoleon’s imaginary yet all-too-human tribulations poses serious questions about the relationship of truth, history and imagination….The truth of Napoleon, Leys’s novel proposes, is that he was a man, subject to laws of chance, indifference and mortality, one among many participants in the human comedy.” —Martin Riker, The Wall Street Journal 

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