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When You Lunch with the Emperor: The Adventures of Ludwig Bemelmans
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When You Lunch with the Emperor: The Adventures of Ludwig Bemelmans

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The legendary bon vivant and author of the Madeline stories lived life like a character in a novel. Wherever he went and whatever he did--getting caught with his toenails painted red by the Gestapo, or discovering the only restaurant with toilets in the Amazon Jungle--Bemelmans' escapades are guaranteed entertainment.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Overlook Books (first published November 17th 2005)
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Mar 20, 2015 Tosh rated it really liked it
Superb collection of essays/stories/drawings/observations by Ludwig Bemelmans. For this past two weeks, I have been obsessing over his writings - and I think it is due to his ability to show his character through words. In most senses, that is what a writer does, but Bemelmans, like Robert Benchley, has a knack to take something normal or excessive, and express it in a very human and profound way or nature.

This book is sort of a Frankenstein monster in that the material comes from various other
Mar 26, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at a used bookstore so I would have something fun to read on the plane to my most recent work-related trip, and I am glad I did. Ludwig Bemelmans is the author of the Madeline books, and until recently, I did not even know he wrote anything else, but apparently he was quite prolific. So I look forward to reading more of his work, and highly recommend it to anyone who might enjoy a little time travel, as the author lived from 1898-1962, so you are visiting another world when you ...more
Apr 11, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
This book is a collection of short essays/stories from Bemelmans that were not written to be sequential, connected, or cumulative. This makes for perfect reading for someone like me who has been finding it difficult to nail down time to focus on a book for more than 10 minutes at a time or more than two days in a row. I could pick it up, sample a light story, fall asleep, and not feel badly if I didn't return to the book for a week and a half.

Beyond that, the book was good fun. I only knew Bemel
Aug 08, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x2014-15-season
Short, mostly autobiographical fiction pieces excerpted from Ludwig writings. A memorable voice, a penchant for the bittersweet. and writing in a time period on the distant edge of living memory makes for an enjoyable read.
Oct 07, 2009 Coldsoup753 rated it liked it
This is a charming little book of short essays by Ludwig Bemelmans drawn from the lifetime he spent working in the entertainment and hospitality industries. I think the jacket bio gives an accurate idea of what to expect from this book: “Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) wrote more than forty books, including the beloved Madeline books. He wrote for Hollywood, owned restaurants, designed sets for Broadway, and painted everything from magazine covers to hotel frescos. Born in the Austrian Tyrol, he wa ...more
Georgia Gross
Sep 17, 2007 Georgia Gross rated it really liked it
Bemelmans, best know for writing and illustration of the Madeline books, was raised in the Austrian Tirol and worked in his family's hotel. As a scrappy young man he followed his wayward father to America with excellent hospitality references and secured a job at the Ritz-Carlton in New York. This volume of vignettes is divided into three parts: Childhood, Work, and Play. His quirky, eccentric childhood in the Tirol with his governess, his exagerrated, if not fully fictionalized, exploits and ex ...more
Nov 20, 2015 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Entertaining! Great fun!
Soumita Das
Mar 15, 2016 Soumita Das rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
This book started out charming and became even better. "Little Bit and the America" was one of the most amusing stories I've ever read, I loved "Prison Visit," and the last two stories were fabulous too -- the first made me tear up, and the second made me crack up. Bemelmans describes scenes and people with a sharp, quirky eye and a great affection for all. His famous children's books about Madeline are certainly classics, but I don't understand why his other books (like this one) are not better ...more
Mar 24, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
My friend, Elizabeth, lent me this book and I loved reading this book. It is all about the life and times of Ludwig Bemelmans, the author of the Madeline books. He was the kind of man who enjoyed the finer things in life but had to slog away in the hotel industry for many years before he got to do that. Bemelmans was adventurous and pretty wild as a young man and all of his exploits make a pretty interesting read.
Jenny Kellogg
Mar 22, 2008 Jenny Kellogg is currently reading it
This book is the companion to Hotel Bemelmans. From what I can tell, the publisher took a bunch of out of print Bemelmans books and mashed them together in a vaguely coherent way. Nevertheless, Bemelmans is delightful and I recommend these books for reading in bed (especially if you have someone to read them to).
Dec 12, 2008 Claire rated it it was amazing
This is a charming collection of essays by the same man who created the children's book character Madeleine and decorated the walls of the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis in NYC. He's had quite a life and is able to tell about the good and bad in a way that is classy and effervescent.
Julie Mccuen
I really loved some of the stories, they were fun - 5 star quality :). However, there were many that were a little dull and not as funny.
Jan 25, 2009 Myra rated it liked it
Very funny though sometimes hard to follow because of the syntax
Jan 30, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Just not my style, hard to follow, strange prose style.
This is not Madeline.
May 28, 2010 Glynn marked it as to-read
Shelves: set-aside
Madeline this is not.
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Ludwig Bemelmans was an Austrian author, an internationally known gourmand, and a writer and illustrator of children's books. He is most noted today for his Madeline books, six of which were published from 1939-1961. A seventh was discovered after his death and published posthumously in 1999.
More about Ludwig Bemelmans...

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