The Incorrigible Optimists Club

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Politics, philosophy and the Algerian war provide the Parisian backdrop for Jean-Michel Guenassia's compelling hero Michel Marini.
Parisian Michel Marini, 12, is a table soccer fiend and a child easing into adolescence. He and his elder brother Frank routinely demolish the grown-up regulars at the Balto bistro until one day his curiosity about what lies behind the green curtain at the end of the bar gets the better of him.
He discovers a store room converted into a chess club, labelled by a pencilled sign on the door as The Incorrigible Optimists Club. As this bright young man takes an unobtrusive vantage point within spitting distance of Jean-Paul Sartre and Joseph Kessel, the irony of the name is not lost on him.
Apart from the two French writers, Michel soon discovers that he is surrounded by a collection of humanity’s male flotsam, all refugees from Communism: stateless, penniless, homeless, dispossessed of their wives and children and, even more devastating for men accustomed to top rank occupations, pointless.
Quite simply, this is one of the best books I have ever read.
Jeffery Taylor. Express. UK.

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The Incorrigible Optimists Club

Authors: Jean-Michel Guenassia, Euan Cameron

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