PARIS – The youngest son of renowned French actor Alain Delon has published a fiction novel which bears a remarkable resemblance to the stormy relationship he has with his famous father in real life.
It is no secret that Delon has a complicated relationship with both his sons, the youngest of which, 24-year old Alain-Fabien Delon, has been promoting his freshly-published book “De la race des seigneurs” (“Of the Race of Gentlemen”), his debut novel telling the story of a young man trying to pave a way for himself in the world of film but is plagued by the influence of his powerful and manipulative father.
“Every novel has a depth that relates to reality,” Delon explained during an interview with the French TMC television channel.
“Every author plucks elements from his own life, especially with a debut novel,” the young writer added.
But his first literary exploration draws very similar parallels with his own life.
The lead character, Alex Delval, shares many resemblances with his creator, including a shared passion with his father, Alexandre Delval, for collecting weapons, a love of luxurious houses, a track record of rehabilitation programs and several clashes with the law.
His Dutch mother’s separation from his father in order to marry French optician and business magnate Alain Afflelou is also featured in the novel, although in the fictional setting, the character Rosalie Van Breemen pairs up with a Russian oligarch.
Delon still often speaks of his father with pride in interviews, but when talking of the autobiographical nature of his novel, he highlights and downplays – in equal measure – the similarities with his own personal life.
“I never wanted to be the ‘son of someone’ who wrote a biography,” Delon continued. “The novel is somewhere between fact and fiction.”
However, for the reader the autobiographical elements are simply enhanced by the constant references to reality and the fact the prose is written in first person.
France is used to bearing witness to the miseries of the Delon dynasty. For years, 54-year-old Anthony Delon, the actor’s eldest son, was the source of gossip with his torrid and high-profile love affairs and run-ins with the law.
In an interview with the magazine Vanity Fair published six years ago, Alain-Fabien explained that although he did not consider himself the victim of abuse as a child, his father had at times shouted, pulled his hair, hurled plates and broken windows.
He went on to say, in the same interview, that his father once broke eight of his mother’s ribs and her nose (twice).
Delon Sr was quick to react, accusing his son of only giving such interviews for money.
The aspiring young writer and model has sent a copy of the book to his father who, according to the Le Parisien newspaper, has yet to read it.
Delon is unfazed by this and explained during his interview with TMC that the most important thing is to advance in the path towards success.
“Through my professional life I take decisions considering what he (his father) might do,” Delon explained, adding that, no matter what, he always looked back to a piece of advice his father once gave him years ago.
“You are a Delon. Don’t ever forget where you come from. You are of a noble race,” the patriarch told his offspring.