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Paris France

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  526 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Stein's incomparable, impressionistic memoir of Paris.

Published in 1940, on the day that Paris fell to the Germans, Paris France blends Stein's childhood memories of Paris with trenchant observations about everything French. It is a witty fricassee of food and fashion, pets and painters, musicians, friends, and artists, served up with a healthy garnish of "Steinien" humor
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Paperback, 166 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Peter Owen Publishers (first published January 1st 1940)
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldA Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest HemingwayA Farewell to Arms by Ernest HemingwayParis France by Gertrude Stein
Midnight in Paris
5th out of 60 books — 31 voters
Les Misérables by Victor HugoA Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayMy Life in France by Julia ChildA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Books About Paris
125th out of 440 books — 431 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,054)
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Maria
Memoir, surprisingly optimistic on the eve of war. Some really delightful passages; good for Stein novice. Better in a way than A Moveable Feast by Hemingway, who stole her style. Nice, very nice, intro by Adam Gopnik.
Emily
Well. This is not what I expected. I did not expect to love Gertrude Stein.

Stein and I have met before, but our meetings have never been very successful. I read Ida in high school and attempted The Making of Americans then as well, and both experiences left me veering between bemusement and annoyance. I did not understand what Stein was getting at with her odd, choppy style; she seemed arrogant and possibly insane. And although I've reevaluated many of my high school opinions on literature, I so
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Julie
Apr 30, 2008 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: you wish you were eight still, but when you were eight you were a smart cookie.
i've heard people struggle with book, then they give up and go do something to make themselves feel better.

i struggle with things, then i give up and go read this book to make myself feel better.

same thing with the teacup ride at storyland, when i was little. it makes you a bit disoriented, but as soon as you stop fighting it, it's good fun.

i do not feel the same way about Three Women, by the way.
try The World Is Round, instead.

Sparrow
Gertrude Stein was 66 when she published Paris France (in 1940). (I just noticed there is no comma in the title, which makes sense because Gertrude often avoids commas, in sentences like:

By the way the Austrian croissant was hurriedly made at the siege of Vienna in 1683 by the Polish soldiers of Sobieski to replace the bread that was missing and they called the crest of the emblem of the Turks whom they were fighting.

) Her point -- if it isn't obvious -- is that the croissant is not naturally Fr
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Fyza Jazra
I have a list of books about Paris to finish before our upcoming Fall European Adventure and Gertrude Stein's memoir "Paris" was first on my list to read.

Stein is most well known as the host of a salon in Paris for writers and artists including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Picasso. But she was also a writer merited with her own style of writing. I was curious to know in her voice what she felt about Paris. And in this book she gives a clear and concise description of life in Paris and stories of
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Susan Oleksiw
Gertrude Stein is an acquired taste. On the first page of Gopnik's introduction and the first page by Stein, the reader immediately hears Hemingway and his adaptation of Stein's style to his own work.

Written in 1940, at the end of the false war, Stein ruminates on Paris, France, England, the French, and life in the city and the provinces. The relays conversations and impressions from her various friends, including Picasso, and gives a fairly good account of France at this time and how it was cha
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tai
some nice sentences and juxtapositions but overall, tedious.i can't imagine enjoying this unless you care about stein as a figure, leading you to want to hear her privileged rambling.
Valerie
Stein's anti war memoir, which never mentions violence and barely mentions war, poignant entreaty on the value of ordinary, daily life. Supposedly this was Stein's favorite book. While this text may be responsible for the romanticization of the French people, it's lovely and worth a read.
JoAnn Goldrich
This was my second reading of "Paris, France"...a truly magical time travel to the Paris of Stein, Toklas, Miller, Hemingway, Picasso, and other artist Bohemians of their day, before they'd become mythical in their proportion and standing in the world. I turned the pages of an original edition, loving this casual, conversational voice so much more than the impressionistic use of language yes language of words upon words with words for words a word after word that only worldly wordy Gertrude coul ...more
Janine
I was a real brat about Gertrude Stein's writing when I was in college. I didn't like her sentences or the notion that it should take as long to read The Making of Americans as it took to cross the country by the covered wagon in question. What a jerk I was. I love Stein's sentences here. Like her friend Pablo, she has access to her child's voice. Her understanding of the French -- I assume, only 40 pages in------will coalesce as it did in real time, peaceably and excitedly.
Brendan
Rating: High side of 3. It's a decent read; nothing special.

She talks about growing up in San Francisco, and about fashion, war, civilization, food, logic, art, family, money, and how those topics pertain to France pre-World War II. I say 'talks', and there is a chatty vibe to her writing. I mean that in a good way. There are also a lot of generalizations, trivialities, and silliness. For a book that's titled, Paris France, a lot of the focus is on country life.

Foreigners should be foreigners
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Brian
Dec 07, 2014 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans that love Paris; fans of the Lost Generation.
'Paris, France' is a charming companion piece to read alongside Hemingway's 'A Moveable Feast', but whereas Hemingway was interested in food, cafes and writing, Stein's book provides idiosyncratic looks at French culture, rural people, dogs and history. Some of the statements seeming to extol the civilized French had to have been written with thick blinders on, one need simply read Zola to refute that concept, or keep in mind the exploits of the French Foreign Legion. Some of the material about ...more
Judi
I was hoping for a book full of insights and anecdotes about Paris in the first part of the 20th century. Maybe that's what Stein thought she was giving me, but all I got out of it was stream of consciousness about the French and France, with little or no standard punctuation. So now I know that the French are logical, latin, civilized and fashionable.

I did like this particular quote from pp. 29-30: "It is because of this [occasional crises] that the American married to a frenchwoman remarked m
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Ryan Tiner
For reasons that are for the history of important events in terms of American writing of course it is a very important book and I did get some wonderful insight into the thoughts and moods of that period. Though as true as that is, unless you go into it with a basic idea of why she is writing the way she is and what she is trying to do you will just end up a little confused and wondering why she is babbling on like an old aunt with terrible memory.

Once I a class on 1920's writers it make a lot m
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Chris
I always enjoy reading Stein because it is a challenge getting into her intelligent mind through her difficult writing. That's a good thing: easy writing is boring. Paris France is a bit easier than her other books because it is full of aphorisms related to France, war, and life. I'll say no more, Stein is Stein, except to share a few lines from the book.

[When we were having a book printed] In France we complained about the bad alignment. Ah they explained that is because they use machines now,
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Mayra Correa e Castro
Era 1940 e a Europa, mal tendo enterrado os mortos de uma guerra, se via no meio de outra. Por isso o tema é uma constante neste livreto de Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), escritora norte-americana que viveu anos e anos na França e ajudou o mundo a conhecer nomes como Picasso, Braque e Matisse, além de ter servido como amiga e conselheira para Pound, Hemingway e Fitzgerald.

Iniciado pouco antes da II Guerra eclodir, Paris França deveria ter prosseguido no tom esperançoso das primeiras páginas, alguém
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Prooost Davis
I had read somewhere that Gertrude Stein's writing was difficult, but that's not the case here. Yes, she wrote run-on sentences that were short on punctuation, but the sentences are not hard to understand, except for the occasional one that can be read in more than one way because of poor grammar.

As I read "Paris France," I wondered about the style. Was it meant to be stream of consciousness, naive, childlike, like speech, or all of these? To me, the effect of the style was to make Gertrude Stei
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False Millennium
Here's a hint to writers; quirky, seemingly innovative styles of writing usually don't last and are more than bothersome. Don't try to be cute...something no one ever called Gertrude Stein. I picked this book up out of boredom. I'm reading Stein like I would reread Susan Sontag. A massive ego screaming "WHY ME" at the end. I'm more about studying the period; not the people or person who wrote these things.
Justine Morrow
I appreciate free flow verse when it is just that: a flow. This was, at times, abrupt and choppy. She seems to hit her stride around the late middle of the book...around the time she tells the story of Helen Button which is the golden moment of the entire book...in fact...she should have just made that a short story rather than tacking on the endless repetition and digressions. That story alone made it worth to read but I completely disagree with some of her opinions of the French...but perhaps ...more
Thelma Benison
What a personal glimpse into Gertrude's daily life with Picasso, Matisse and other artists that came to her home for their Saturday night gatherings. She made Picasso and Matisse into the famous artists that we know today. In reading her book, she brings the reader in to what her life was like. Her prose is rather simplistic and a bit repetitive when using certain words...however this is her voice, these are her words and I highly suspect her writing style strongly reflects her way of talking an ...more
Kristin
Uh...what? I'm all for stream of consciousness, and I loved learning about the famous Gertrude Stein's views on Paris, but this was all over the place and didn't seem to have much of a point.
Karen
Stein's style isn't for everyone, but I love her complete disregard for the rules in order to say what she has to say in the way she wants to say it. This book about her time in France on the eve of the war is more revealing of her own attempts to understand her adopted country than it is about the country itself. And Adam Gopnik wrote a great introduction to the edition that I read.
Sherry
Maybe Paris France was supposed to be poetic or maybe Gertrude Stein just gave herself poetic license with the English language or most likely I just don’t get Ms. Stein. In any case, I found this book very difficult to read (and from the reviews looks like I am not alone). I was hoping to discover more about Paris and the Parisians but knowing that the French did not invent the croissant was not very interesting. One reviewer sums up my feelings about this book when she wrote:

“I think I need to
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Michelle
Do any of you like Gertrude Stein? I think she's a fascinating character...her life...her free spirit. Her writing, however, is so different that it's tough to get through. Paris, France is the first of her books that I've finished, tho I've started several. I came to love it once I imagined the words as Gertrude's unruly dialogue. It's like she's rambling on about what she likes about Paris and Pariseans to me, personally. It's free form writing with total disregard to the rules of grammar. Onc ...more
Kristina Gibson
This is more of an extended, free-form essay on the author's time in France from childhood to old age. I had a hard time with her experimental narrative style.
Jenny
A blunt and rambling view into Paris as she enters the 20th century. "America is my county and Paris is my home town"
Erwin Maack
"Pensávamos não apenas nós mas todos pensávamos que havia reis que eram ambiciosos que eram cobiçosos e que levavam infelicidade ao povo que não tinha nenhum meio de resistir a eles. Mas agora ora a democracia nos mostrou que o mal são os grosses têtes, os figurões metidos a besta, todos figurões cobiçam dinheiro e poder, são ambiciosos que é o motivo pelo qual são metidos a besta e eles estão a frente do governo e o resultado é infelicidade para o povo. Falam em esvaziar a presunção dos grosses ...more
Julie
Run-on sentences, missing punctuation...I don't get it. It should have taken me one day to read this, but it was so torturous it took six!
Muriel
Couldn't get into the prose. I think stream of consciousness writing is for personal journals. Did get a glimpse of France after WWI and into WWII but from hindsight seems romanticized.
Fernanda
A narrativa pelo fluxo da consciência não me agradou. A meu ver, deixou a leitura um pouco cansativa.
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Gertrude Stein was an American writer who spent most of her life in France, and who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature. Her life was marked by two primary relationships, the first with her brother Leo Stein, from 1874-1914, and the second with Alice B. Toklas, from 1907 until Stein's death in 1946. Stein shared her salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, first with Leo an ...more
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“After all everybody, that is, everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves in order to tell what is inside themselves. That is why writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really. The second one is romantic, is is separate from themselves, it is not real but it is really there.” 24 likes
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