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April in Paris

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  1,112 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
Michael Wallner's thrilling first novel, set in occupied France during World War II, movingly recounts the impossible love affair between a German soldier and a French resistance fighter.Roth, a young soldier in the SS and a fluent French translator, works as an interpreter during the interrogation of Resistance fighters. But while off-duty, he slips away from his fellow o ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Anchor (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 04, 2007 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in a mature style, a quick read but very deep and thought provoking. It portrays mixed identities as true identities and shows sides of people we don't consider very often.
Jun 02, 2015 Lena♥Ribka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, the-1940s, ww2

I read it some years ago, and remember that I enjoyed it.
I have it as paperback on my real shelf.
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by Paul Michael

Roth is a young German army corporal, assigned to Gestapo headquarters in occupied Paris so that he can use his flawless French as an interpreter during interrogations. He’s disturbed by the torture he witnesses, but fulfills his duty as a soldier, accurately translating the words if not the emotions expressed. When not on duty, however, he slips away from his hotel billet, dons civilian clothes and walks the streets of Paris disguised as the Frenchman, Antoine
Feb 10, 2013 Christie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficiton
A short, quick read of historical fiction that takes place in Occupied France during WWII. The main character, Roth, is a German SS soldier who speaks perfect French and is assigned to work for the Gestapo as a translator during interrogations of captured French Resistance fighters. As fate would have it, Roth meets the woman of his dreams but she is the daughter of a French bookshop owner and he keeps his identity as a German soldier a secret from her. Already leading a dangerous double life to ...more
Certainly, there have been a vast number of books on this subject, both fiction and nonfiction. Honestly, because it is a heart breaking subject, I have often avoided novels of this type. My interest was piqued in this case because April In Paris is written from a German point of view sympathetic to the Resistance.

It perhaps long overdue for the world to reexamine the events of WWII in light of the fact that every German soldier was not a devout Nazi. Still, books and films that take this appro
Feb 16, 2009 Darcy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I suppose the message of this book could be about "being yourself"--but that doesn't work out too well for the Nazi corporal in this novel. (The Nazis tended to frown on that kind of thing...)
I suppose it could be that life is short and we should enjoy it. That might tend to explain why said corporal appears to sleep with whoever provides the invitation. He's in a city he doesn't really belong to, working for people he doesn't really respect, doing a job he can't stomach. He's trying to "find hi
Dec 31, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Not very challenging or thought provoking, but entertaining. Entertaining in an improbable made-for-Hollywood love/war story kind of way without the cheesy ending. Think Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck. The writing was slightly confusing and there was one short chapter (I can't remember which) that seemed disjointed. The protagonist is described vaguely and just didn't seem fleshed out-for lack of a better term. I also had a problem with the idea that his French resistance love interest, Chantel, ...more
May 09, 2013 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the middle of WWII in occupied France,. It's very much a story of survival; how one life may be betrayed by another, Roth is twenty-one, a German soldier in occupied Paris doing translations in the back offices. He is suddenly transferred to the SS office, translating for interrogations. These are perilous times and Roth knows he can be caught in difficult situations. If he is caught by the French Resistance, he will be killed as a spy and if he is caught by his fellow Germans, he can be d ...more
John Mchugh
Jun 02, 2015 John Mchugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella was my Tucson reading when Nancy and I drove to Tucson last weekend to visit my sister. First published in German in 2006, but as you might guess I read the 2007 English translation. An interesting and engaging story of a young German soldier stationed in occupied Paris in the 1940s. Without meaning to, the soldier falls in love with a young French woman and.....well, you may want to find out for yourself. Well paced and deftly written, it's both a quick read and an exciting and mov ...more
Corporal Roth is a translator for the Gestapo in World War II era France. During the day, he translates confessions obtained from prisoners who are being tortured. To escape this extremely depressing assignment, he dresses in civilian clothes at night and blends in with the French citizens. He meets Chantal and falls in love with her. But she is a member of the French resistance, and their liaison doesn't go unnoticed. In a cat and mouse scenario, the lovers attempt to escape their fate.
Sep 17, 2011 Nmdb22 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story line of an SS soldier and a French Resistance woman love story in occupied France sounded wonderful. I guess I was expecting more romance and less war, but there were far too many graphic passages about torture, and little explanation of the romance other than superficial attraction between two young people in the middle of a war. quite a disappointment.
Adrianna Kowalska
Gdyby o zakupie miała decydować okładka „Kwiecień w Paryżu” nigdy nie wzbogaciłby mojej prywatnej biblioteczki. Okładka nic nie mówi o książce. Jest taka nijaka jak dla mnie. Na dodatek to połączenie kolorów: biel i pomarańcz… no nie przekonało mnie. Jednak gdy otworzyłam skrzydełko z opisem książki skradła moje serce. Uwielbiam wszystko co tyczy się historii, a gdy już rzecz dzieje się podczas II wojny światowej to jestem kupiona na zabój. Dlatego wobec książki miałam wysokie oczekiwania, który ...more
Maddy Betancourt
I found this in the book bin of my library, and was intrigued by the dark-but-romantic synopsis. I've found a lot of unexpected gems in the library free bin, but unfortunately this wasn't one of them. The characters fell flat for me, and plot line was incredibly herky -jerky. Some key details were mentioned in easily-missed one-sentence briefs, and some seemingly unimportant scenes were described in an agonizingly slow, detailed manner.
Dan Alpert
German soldier in occupied WWII France with a strong sense of right and wrong and paying the price for it. The end was a little too vague and unsatisfying for me. Characters are well drawn. Maybe 3.5 stars if there were that option.
Nov 08, 2016 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, good story, the ending leaves the reader wanting more.
Maria Myers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2016 Kirsty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: september-2016
I have tried to read this several times and have always given up. This time I was determined to finish it. I'm not sure why I bothered, really. It's rather nondescript, the characters are unrealistic, and the prose is all over the place.
E Wilson
Jul 17, 2016 E Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2012 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like straight-forward historical fiction
I struggle on how to review this novel. I can't say I liked it, but I definitely thought it was a solid novel. I guess it's a good historical novel that had a great premise but fizzled when it came to the writing and execution of said premise. I liked the story - right when I thought deus ex machina was going on it surprised me by going in another direction, and the second half was definitely better than the first. The first part dragged a bit and wasn't overly believable. Roth falls in love wit ...more
Joan Stewart
Oct 20, 2015 Joan Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, my-reviews
Corporal Roth, a German soldier, is given marching orders to work in Paris as a translator in a Gestapo interrogation room. During his free time, he comes up with a verbotener plan to dress as a native Frenchman and wander through the streets of Paris. He names himself Antoine, whereupon he soon falls in love with Chantal, a book dealer's daughter and a member of the French Resistance.

At first glance, I grew restless - and often angry - with Corporal Roth because he is relentlessly shallow, with
Aug 21, 2014 Carmen8094 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanzi-e-saggi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the middle of WWII in occupied France. Michel Roth is really lucky that his skills as a translator have landed him a job in Gestapo headquarters in Paris instead of at the front. He is the quiet sort who likes to stay just under the 'radar' . Michel has some friends among the staff but he is a bit of a loner ... when he decides he would like to explore this beautiful city. He knows that if he strolls about in his military uniform he will be shunned by the Parisians, so he works on a plan. ...more
This started out as a really interesting read. I liked the way the author, a German man, is direct and to the point. He writes it in the present tense, so everything is very immediate. It's a good approach for his style. And I really liked the story very much until about 150 pages in... then the story took a turn that was very torpid in its plot. Not to say there wasn't action, it was just all so predictable and obvious, and therefore quite dull.

The one interesting thing that took place in thos
Aug 16, 2011 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a really fast read, partly because many of its plot twists are expected--you can see them coming pages ahead of actually reading them. The book is filled with close, exacting descriptions of torture; at first, these make for horrifying reading. After a while, however, they feel gratuitous and have virtually no impact, except to make this reader feel like the book has turned into one of those superhero films where some Hollywood megastar survives astoundingly awful beatings, shooting ...more
My 2009 Bookcrossing journal:

I read this in a day - it was just such an addictive story I really couldn't stop until it had gotten all the way through to its conclusion.

It kind of reminded me of some of those WWII films such as Black Book from Holland, as there's all this double crossing, espionage etc in one of the occupied countries on the continant. It's about a German soldier, Michael Roth, who really doesn't want to be in the war. He's a French translator in Paris and gets to sit in during
Oct 27, 2009 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
April in Paris is not great literature, but it's hard to resist its appeal. In the tradition of Casablanca (although definitely not on the same level), this novel suffers mostly from a lot of clichés and from a rather bland writing style, yet somehow it manages to take off, especially during the second part. The first part has some good elements: the author has a good eye for details (the story takes place in occupied Paris), the narrator is an intriguing character, and there is a neat sense of ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The song “April in Paris” recalls young love in Paris in the springtime. The novel April in Paris by Michael Wallner is about young love set against a background of occupied Paris. The story is told from the viewpoint of Roth, a young German translator who works at the Gestapo headquarters where Resistance Fighters are being interrogated and tortured. Being a German soldier in a city known for its beauty and romance, Roth is unable to experience any of its charm. The Parisians view their occupie ...more
Jul 15, 2009 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I opened the title page, and it read "Translated from German...," I was hesitant to read it. But, it ranks among the best books I've read this summer. The narrator is a transcriptionist and translator for the Gestapo during their occupation of Paris. He enjoys the city immensely, but, to learn more about Paris, he disguises himself as a Frenchman named Antoine. He explores the sidestreets, bookstores, and general cityscenes that abruptly "shut down" whenever a German soldier appears. During ...more
Julie Failla Earhart
One of the more interesting premises in the glut of WWII novels is Micheal Wallner’s April in Paris.

Taking place in 1943, the story is told in first person by a twenty-one-year-old German solider who has been assigned to work in Paris as a translator in a Gestapo interrogation room. The corporal, who is known to the readers only as Roth, wants to be “normal.” He has a revolutionary idea that, since he speaks fluent French without the slightest German accent, is to dress as a Frenchman and wander
Ilyhana Kennedy
Aug 10, 2012 Ilyhana Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"April in Paris" is a story of a different time, different priorities, urgency borne of risk and fear in a time of war and inhumanity. It's very much a story of survival; how one life may be betrayed by another, by what is done in the name of survival and this in direct conflict with what is done in the name of "love" or perhaps infatuation, even obsession.
The main character, a German translator in the German forces, is frighteningly reckless in his willingness to risk his life in the most blata
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Michael Wallner is an Austrian actor and screenwriter. He was born 1958 in Graz. He divides his time between Berlin and the Black Forest.
More about Michael Wallner...

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