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The title is anything but subtle.
“The President is Dead,” complete with an image of Nicolas Sarkozy on the cover, depicts what might happen if the French president met an untimely death, say from a stroke, say on July 17.
The author, Pierre Maraval, imagines the ripple effect of shock that would spread across the world, from President Barack Obama being woken up in the middle of the night to the crowds that would gather at Place de la Concorde in central Paris, according to an article on the site of the Nouvel Observateur magazine.
The book is pure fiction and its July 1 release was likely timed to drive it to the top of the beach reading heap.
The tongue-in-cheek book also speculates on political plots and infighting that would occur, how and whether the press would be censored, how terrorists might take advantage of the situation to plan an attack on the capital, whether the Pope would attend services and what hat Carla Bruni might wear to face a nation in mourning.
It would be a challenge to organize elections in August in France but inevitably a successor would be elected. Would it be Segolene Royal?
Watch a short montage of how the fictional event might unfold here.