One of Europe's most popular and best-loved authors, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt captivates the reader with his spirited, buoyant style and enchanting stories that move effortlessly from the everyday to the fantastical. The eight stories in this collection, his first to be published in English, represent some of his best writing and most imaginative storylines: from the love story between Balthazar, wealthy and successful author, and Odette, cashier at a supermarket, to the tale of a barefooted princess; from the moving story of a group of female prisoners in a Soviet gulag to the entertaining portrait of a perennially disgruntled perfectionist. Here are eight contemporary fables, populated by a cast of extravagant and affecting characters, about people in search of happiness. Behind each story lies a simple, if elusive, truth: happiness is often right in front of our eyes, though we may frequently be blind to it.
""Melancholy but edifying orator, light yet profound raconteur (like Diderot), Eric- Emmanuel Schmitt squeezes goodness from sorrow, places language, the word, on an altar, and derives from reality books that sell millions of copies.""
-Il Giornale (Italy)
""The Most Beautiful Book in the World is as affecting as it is intelligent. [...] Eight stories, parables on the idea of a future, filled with redeeming optimism. Truth and beauty are here brought together. The Most Beautiful Book in the World [...] has all the visual beauty and power of major literary works.""
-Jean-RTmi Barland, Lire Magazine (France)
""A born story-teller with a talent for telling ostensibly simple tales that nevertheless suggest a philosophy for life, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt [in The Most Beautiful Book in the World] takes the lid off the lives of eight women in eight contrasting portraits, each time with thought- provoking piquancy and suspense leading to an arresting and delightful end.""
-La Libre Belgique (Belgium)