Beyond the Glitz and Glamour: The Best Novels Set in Monaco
Known more for its Prince Pierre Foundation Award than for its native writers, Monaco is not considered a hotbed for literary talent. It is often seen as little more than a sanctuary for its wealthy inhabitants, which has given it an image of glamour and excess. Several authors have however written compelling works about the moral questions that inevitably arise in such an environment.
Graham Green - Loser Takes All
The well-known British author Graham Green set his 1955 novella Loser Takes All in the country’s capital of Monte Carlo, in which Greene tells the story of Bertram and his fiancée Cary. The couple plan on marrying and honeymooning in England, but have their plans changed by Dreuther, the director of the company Bertram works for. Dreuther moves both wedding and honeymoon to Monte Carlo, and upon arrival in the city, Bertram and Cary discover Dreuther is nowhere to be found and in order to stay Bertram begins gambling in the city’s casinos, but in doing so begins to lose his new bride. Greene uses the novella as a means to address the question of whether money really can buy happiness in a setting where it appears it can buy anything.
Eric Robert Morse - Monaco
Set in the year 1937, the American Eric Robert Morse’s novel Monaco portrays the country as a luxurious haven with its palm trees and Grand Prix. The novel focuses upon the young American Dash Bradford sent to help the owner of a successful company protect the regal Monaco way of life with a war looming. Dash quickly falls in love and is soon living the perfect life, but with the arrival of the Nazis, Dash’s paradise is threatened. Morse’s novel manages to explore a number of philosophical issues within an important historical period.
Robert Eringer – Monaco Cool
Having moved to Monaco from America, literary agent Robert Eringer’s novel Monaco cool describes his time spent living in the country with his family, and the numerous and eccentric characters he meets during his stay, Eringer’s biting and humorous style lends itself well to his tale of a country characterized by decadence and ostentation.
N.M. Kelby - White Truffles in Winter
Based on the chef Georges Auguste Escoffier, a key figure within modern French cooking, who had also spent time cooking at The Ritz and The Carlton, N.M. Kelby’s fictional novel White Truffles in Winter tells of Escoffier’s final years living in Monaco writing his memoirs and looking back on his life. While his wife, the poet Delpine Daffis’s only wish is for her husband to create a dish for her as he did for many others, including his lover, the actress Sarah Bernhardt.
Fritz Reck Malleczewen - Bomben Auf Monte Carlo
During his lifetime, the doctor Fritz Reck Malleczewen, wrote a number of novels and children’s books before being imprisoned and killed within a concentration camp in 1944. His most famous work, the comedy novel Bomben Auf Monte Carlo written in 1930, tells the story of a penniless ship captain who arrives in Monte Carlo hoping to raise the money gambling to pay his work crew, though after arriving in the city, he quickly becomes entangled with a monarch in disguise.
By Laurence Gardner