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The Train to Paris

2.86  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
She entered the station, wearing a white leopard-print dress that was short enough to show off her legs. Her hair slid down the back of her neck in a curtain of gold, which shimmered as it passed through the updraught. There was a conspicuous ring on her finger. Her head turned and her eyes almost met with mine. I looked away.

Lawrence Williams is twenty. A student of art h
Paperback, 292 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Text Publishing Company (first published February 24th 2014)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 29, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Train to Paris by Sebastian Hampson. This is the first novel by this author & it reads just like a 'movie'.
Full of imagination, suspense and romance, capturing the spirit and streets of Paris.
It is seductive and surprising.
I really look forward to reading Sebastian's next book as I feel he is a very talented writer.
Dec 02, 2016 Gia rated it did not like it
I know this rating is harsh, I just found the characters antagonising and one dimensional. There were moments where the prose redeemed the mundanity of the narrative and placement. Cliche-dense. Lacking tension. The writers voice is young and naive and the plot is unbelievable. Reads like a teenage boy's diary fantasy. It was ok, it was just shallow and didn't move. He aligned a few beautiful sentences.
Feb 25, 2014 Marianne rated it liked it
The Train To Paris is the first novel by New Zealand author, Sebastian Hampson. When twenty-year-old art history student, Lawrence Williams finds himself stuck at a border station, unable to get a train back to Paris, it seems recent events have left him ripe for the allure that surrounds Élodie Lavelle. Almost before he knows it, he is in her thrall, on his way to Biarritz with her, heading for an experience of a lifetime. Élodie, twice his age, seems rich, sophisticated and worldly, but also ...more
Tony Nielsen
Dec 15, 2013 Tony Nielsen rated it it was amazing
New Zealand author Sebastian Hampson is only twenty one years old, and, on the strength of The Train to Paris is a talent to be excited about. I have read a preview copy of the book and it's not released until late February but you should make a note now. This is a compelling story of a naïve young man who, through circumstances both unexpected and beyond his control ends up as the parmaore of a worldly older woman after their travel plans are sidelined as they both have Paris in their sights. ...more
Marcus Hobson
Nov 19, 2015 Marcus Hobson rated it it was ok
Two stars or "It was OK". Hmm, well just about.
I wasn't set on fire by this book. I quite enjoyed it, but on reflection it didn't really go anywhere and it did at times feel a little like a teenage fantasy of what might happen with an older woman.
The story of twenty year old New Zealand boy in Europe to study art history, who gets stuck in a remote town by a rail strike and is rescued by a forty-something ex-porn star to treats him to some five star luxury. Her attempts to educate him in a finer
Yvette Morrissey
Feb 05, 2015 Yvette Morrissey rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Bartlett
Mar 03, 2014 John Bartlett rated it really liked it
On the surface this is a simple story. Boy meets older woman. Older woman is cruel, cynical, world-weary. Boy is naive and innocent.
It's the interaction between these two that is fascinating.
We want her to be kinder, him to be wiser but it's this mismatch that makes for a compelling story.

My only concern was with the final chapter - things tied up too neatly when there was nothing neat about the rest of the story and it was this 'un-neatness', this mismatch that I liked so much.
I think Hampson i
Nov 27, 2014 Georgia rated it it was amazing
Read this book in one day. I just couldn't put it down
It's got those kind of characters that annoy you with their mannerisms, yet intrigue you as to how they ended up that way. The story itself is simple, not in a bad way. It leaves out some of the details that you wait the whole book to find out and doesn't have the cliche ending of romance novels.
Please take no offence Gatsby fans, but this to me is a modern day great Gatsby... Sort of
Yvonne Anderson
Nov 01, 2014 Yvonne Anderson rated it it was amazing
I interviewed this author as we live in the same city here in NZ!! He is lovely and genuine and you can read the interview at

I told him that reading his book was like taking a gentle stroll through a park with the main character and he smiled and said that was so lovely to hear. He had never heard his book described this way. It was a simple yet elegant book and I read it in one afternoon ;)
Jan 08, 2016 Joanne rated it did not like it
"An unforgettable love story"? More like, a shambolic shuffling in France by two equally annoying and unlikable undeveloped characters.
May 27, 2014 Cilla rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Couldn't stop reading it. I love the way he describes beachside town Biarritz and snowy Paris. The beguiling Elodie reminds me of Holly Golightly from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.
Sally Carveth
Sally Carveth rated it did not like it
Jun 06, 2014
Emily rated it it was ok
Sep 28, 2014
Louise Ryan
Louise Ryan rated it it was ok
Apr 22, 2014
Lauren Boyd
Lauren Boyd rated it it was ok
Dec 07, 2014
Kelly Phillips
Kelly Phillips rated it it was ok
Mar 09, 2014
Anders Aliosha
Anders Aliosha rated it liked it
May 21, 2014
Iva rated it it was ok
Apr 05, 2015
Helen rated it did not like it
Dec 16, 2014
Melanie rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2014
Georgia rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2015
Louis rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2015
Kathryn Petty
Kathryn Petty rated it did not like it
Jun 07, 2015
Kerri-Ann Sheppard
Kerri-Ann Sheppard rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2015
Jo rated it it was ok
Dec 04, 2016
Margaret rated it liked it
Jul 25, 2015
Elodie rated it did not like it
Mar 22, 2014
Miriam rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2014
Tig rated it it was ok
May 17, 2015
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Sebastian Hampson was born in 1992 in Auckland, New Zealand. He grew up in Wellington, has lived in Europe, and is currently studying art history and literature at Victoria University. The Train to Paris is his first novel.
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