San-Antonio has 17 ratings and 1 review: Published September 13th by Fleuve noir, pages, Paperback. The French detective writer Frédéric Dard, who has died of a heart attack Known as the “San Antonio” books – Dard reportedly chose his. Frédéric Dard was born on June 29, in Bourgoin-Jallieu, Isère, France. He was a writer and San Antonio (novels and characters – as San-Antonio).

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He produced over books, more than half of them based around the partnership of two police officers, Superintendent San Antonio and his sidekick Inspector Berurier.

Frederic Dard

Known as the “San Antonio” books – Angonio reportedly chose his hero’s name by simply going through lists of cities on a map of the United States – they had sold a phenomenal 27m copies by the time of the author’s death. He was brought up by his grandmother while his parents were busy with their central heating company. It was his grandmother, he said later, who first gave him a love of literature by encouraging him to read.

Of all his childhood memories, his most vivid was the sight of the family possessions being seized when his father’s business collapsed into bankruptcy in the s. Instead, his uncle, who worked in a garage, managed to put him in touch with a local magazine, Le Mois de Lyon.


Here, as a young journalist writing about Lyon’s city street life, Dard discovered a new world of brothels, pimps and criminals – and the work of “les flics”, vard police.

Obituary: Frédéric Dard | Books | The Guardian

Dard published his first novel inat the age of only Several books later, he was encouraged by Georges Simenon to try and adapt one of them for the theatre. Inconvinced that this was where his future lay, Dard moved to Paris with his wife Odette, rard he had married inand their two children.

But the theatre was not the immediate answer to his problems. As a struggling writer trying to support a young family, Dard sab money, and, in desperation, went back to writing novels.

San-Antonio : Les Vacances de Bérurier by Frédéric Dard

He needed to have quick success, and was influenced by the American thriller writer Amtonio Cheyney, who had produced a string of popular pulp-fiction books in the s. Dard was encouraged by Armand de Caro, a new young publisher he had met, and, with his main detective character San Antonio – himself a criminal by nature – already formed in his mind, he looked back to his childhood to find his hero’s assistant. Inspector Berurier was based on a neighbour haunted by the first world war.

Dard worked at an extraordinary rate, producing up to five novels a year – while still holding on to the possibilities of cinema and television productions. But, as he became more famous, he found the pressures building up.


He was constantly being interviewed, and despite their new-found wealth, he and Odette experienced marital difficulties. InDard attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself. By the s, the academic world had become particularly infatuated by Dard’s use of language.

Whole seminars were given over to the San Antonio books, and the way that Dard combined words; for “sleet”, which consists of “rain-pluie” and “snow-neige”, he would write of the weather, “il pleige”; on other occasions, he would invent entirely new Franch words, such as “adulttre”. Outside the detective genre, Dard wrote many novels using a pseudonym. Although, after her release, the novelist said it was the most traumatic moment of his life, he later used the idea of the kidnapping in one of his books.

He would also often invent imaginary moments in French history and, although he said he feared death, his one regret was that he would not be able to use it in one of his own books. The French president, Jacques Chirac, described him as “an immensely generous writer”.

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