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The Paris Hours: A Novel by Alex George

The Paris Hours: A Novel (edition 2020)

by Alex George (Author)

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2391588,461 (3.32)15
Title:The Paris Hours: A Novel
Authors:Alex George (Author)
Info:Flatiron Books (2020), 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Paris Hours by Alex George


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Paris 1927 with Gertrude Stein who buys art and Ernestine Hemingway who buys rare books. It's a great combination but didn't keep my interest very well. However, I appreciate the quotes: "Facing the fact of death is something that we desperately need to do. It's good for the soul. Facing death clarifies life." ... "Time is short. Use it well." ... And, "Make the most of what you have by first accepting that it will end." ( )
  Jacsun | Oct 5, 2021 |
wow! I read this in a single sitting (almost - I did take a dinner break) and although the book is set in 1927, was transported back to my year in Paris (or perhaps the romantic version of Paris I wanted the city to be). As the characters walked from Shakespeare and Company on Rue de la Huchette or from Notre Dame to Châtelet, I had super vivid flashbacks, which I think helped me imagine the bohemian adventures the characters embark on in the book. This was a quick, easy read, and my only real gripe with it is that the four main characters are constantly referred to by their full names (particularly Souren and Guillaume), but that could be attributed to how quickly I read the book. Also Camille's secret in the notebook is that she kept the baby from the Eglise Saint Gervais bombing, right? Anyway, I'd recommend for that kind of person who's reaaaallly into Paris (you know the type exactly).

I received this book early as my April 2020 Book of the Month selection. ( )
  madelinemar | Aug 16, 2021 |
I confess I do not understand this book. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Mar 22, 2021 |
Focusing on four character in Paris in the 1920's; alternate chapters tell their stories. Camille is a farm girl whose marriage takes her to the city and eventually as a maid to Marcel Proust. Guillaume is a struggling artist who owes money to some thugs but manages to sell one painting to Gertrude Stein while Maurice Ravel is playing below his apartment. Souren is a refuge from Armenia who is attempting to run from his tragic past which saw the violent death of his younger brother. Now he performs puppet shows for children in the park. Jean-Paul is a journalist who comes to interview Josephine Baker.

At first I saw little connection between the characters and the short chapters seemed unimportant; however, as the story unfolds, each of the characters have a connection to the other. The ending of this novel is especially vivid - a total surprise.

Good story; interesting setting, and definitely would read more by this author. ( )
  maryreinert | Mar 11, 2021 |
The Paris Hours - Alex George -
Audio performance by Raphael Corkill
4 stars

Much of this book is set in Paris on a single day in 1927. Each of four main characters, one woman and three men, are experiencing some form of personal crisis throughout the day. As the day passes, these characters weave around each other in a very colorful Parisian atmosphere.

Placing each character in context requires the author to move back and forth in their personal histories. The puppeteer, Souren Balakian is a refugee of the Armenian genocide. Guillame Blane is a failed artist with grandiose dreams and a dangerously unpaid debt. The journalist, Jean-Paul Millard is a disabled WW1 veteran as well as a grieving widower and father. The hotelier, Camille Clermont, was the devoted personal maid of the late Marcel Proust. The backstories of each character are filled with interesting details.

Proust is not the only famous person touching the lives of the characters. I did not know that Maurice Ravel drove an ambulance in WW1, and later had difficulty composing new music. Josephine Baker and a number of black jazz musicians provide some entertainment. Gertrude Stein, John dos Passos, and Ernest Hemingway all have cameo appearances.

The book is rich in historical detail. The characters are fairly complex for such a short novel. The audio performance was excellent, but I needed the text. Each chapter features a different character, building their current and former lives in fragments. It was difficult to follow the continuity of the nonlinear plot as I listened. I found it easier to keep track with the text in front of me. ( )
  msjudy | Jan 31, 2021 |
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Book description
One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time. 

Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.

Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay—but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.

Told over the course of a single day in 1927, Alex George's The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.
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