The President's Room

The President's Room

3.71 (129 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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A taut, appealing, and often quite funny exploration of existential angst." --Kirkus Reviews

In a nameless suburb in an equally nameless country, every house has a room reserved for the president. No one knows when or why this came to be. It's simply how things are, and no one seems to question it except for one young boy.

The room is kept clean and tidy, nobody talks about it and nobody is allowed to use it. It is for the president and no one else. But what if he doesn't come? And what if he does? As events unfold, the reader is kept in the dark about what's really going on. So much so, in fact, that we begin to wonder if even the narrator can be trusted...

Ricardo Romero has been compared to Franz Kafka and Italo Calvino, and we see why in this eerie, meditative novel narrated by a shy young boy who seems to be very good at lying about the truth. Following in the footsteps of Julio Cortázar and a certain literary tradition of sinister rooms (such as Dr Jekyll's laboratory), The President's Room is a mysterious tale based on the suspicion that a house is never just one single home.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 82 pages
  • 124.46 x 195.58 x 10.16mm | 158.76g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1999722728
  • 9781999722722
  • 39,078

Review quote

One of Culture Trip's 2018 "Most Beautiful Book Covers From Around the World."

"Romero advances a conversation begun by Camus, Kafka, and Calvino....A taut, appealing, and often quite funny exploration of existential angst." --Kirkus Reviews

"Romero's haunting fantasy, about the poetics of space and the edges of reality, underlines how impressive is the fiction currently emerging from an inspired Argentina." --The Times Literary Supplement

"Romero's short novel, with its brief sections creating the haunting atmosphere depicted by a breathless young narrator, will undoubtedly reward re-readings." --Asymptote

"The President's Room narrates bewilderment." --Jorge Consiglio, author of SOUTHERLY
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About Ricardo Romero

Ricardo Romero was born in Entre Ríos, Argentina, in 1976 and now lives in Buenos Aires. Between 2003 and 2006 he ran the literary journal Oliverio and between 2006 and 2010 he was a member of the writers' collective El Quinteto de la Muerte (The Lethal Quintet), with which he published 5 and La Fiesta de la Narrativa (The Fiction Party). Romero has published a book of short stories, Tantas noches como sean necesarias (As Many Nights as May Be Necessary, 2006) and the novels Ninguna parte (Nowhere, 2003), El síndrome de Rasputín (Rasputin Syndrome, 2008), Los bailarines del fin del mundo (The Dancers of the End of the World, 2009), Perros de la lluvia (Rain Dogs, 2011), El spleen de los muertos (The Spleen of the Dead, 2013), Historia de Roque Rey (Roque Rey's Tale, 2014) and El conserje y la eternidad (The Caretaker and Eternity, 2017). This is his first book to appear in English.

Charlotte Coombe is a British translator working from French and Spanish into English. Her translation of Abnousse Shalmani's Khomeini, Sade and Me (World Editions, 2016) won a PEN Translates award. She has translated Fish Soup by Margarita García Robayo (Charco Press, 2018) and Eduardo Berti's novel The Imagined Land (2018) for Deep Vellum. She has also translated poetry and short stories by Rosa María Roffiel, Edgardo Nuñez Caballero and Santiago Roncagliolo, for Palabras Errantes. She was awarded a second PEN Translates award in 2019 for her forthcoming translation of the novel Holiday Heart by Margarita García Robayo (Charco Press, 2020).
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Rating details

129 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 20% (26)
4 40% (51)
3 33% (42)
2 7% (9)
1 1% (1)
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