Sarkozy's musings are a hit on French beaches

2nd August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 2, 2006 (AFP) - The political musings of presidential front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy have become the surprise summer reading hit for French holidaymakers, with five print-runs and 275,000 copies produced within two weeks of publication, XO Editions publishing house said Wednesday.

PARIS, Aug 2, 2006 (AFP) - The political musings of presidential front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy have become the surprise summer reading hit for French holidaymakers, with five print-runs and 275,000 copies produced within two weeks of publication, XO Editions publishing house said Wednesday.

Precise sales figures for "Temoignage" -- "Testimony" in English -- have yet to appear, but L'Express magazine, which draws up a weekly listing based on data from 150 bookshops, has placed it at the top of its non-fiction best-sellers.

"I thought it would be a success, but this is completely beyond my expectations. It's colossal," XO president Bernard Fixot told Le Figaro newspaper.

Sarkozy, who is both interior minister and president of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), uses the book to set out a loose collection of personal reflections about the problems facing France and how best to solve them.

He also speaks about his relationship with wife Cecilia -- with whom he has just been reconciled after a separation of several months -- and pays rare tribute to President Jacques Chirac, who is often seen as his political enemy.

The latest polls show that Sarkozy, 51, leads the race to win the presidency at next April's election, but only by a whisker ahead of the leading Socialist Party (PS) candidate Segolene Royal.

"(Sarkozy) has a 50-50 chance of being the next president. People want to get to know him better, to read a personal book, where he explains who he is, how he works. The book isn't a political programme -- more a kind of 'cards on the table,'" said Fixot.

Sarkozy himself chose to release the book just before the summer break, on the grounds that "the only time when the French speak about politics inside the family is during the holidays."

Royal, the elegant president of the Poitou-Charentes regional council who emerged from nowhere to be the leading left-wing presidential candidate, is expected to publish a book of her political ideas -- entitled "Desirs d'avenir" or "Desires for the future" -- later in the year.

Several other possible contenders on the left have put out books recently.

Former prime minister Lionel Jospin's "Le monde comme je le vois" -- "The world as I see it" -- has sold 57,000 copies, and "Devoir de verite" -- "The duty of truth" -- by PS First Secretary Francois Hollande has sold 27,000.

Books by former ministers Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Jack Lang have sold 18,600 and 5,400 respectively, Le Figaro said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article