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Paris France

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  83 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
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 HemingwayThe Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
Midnight in Paris
6th out of 62 books — 37 voters
Les Misérables by Victor HugoA Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensMy Life in France by Julia ChildThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Books About Paris
136th out of 458 books — 477 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 30, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
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.

Aug 14, 2013 Maria rated it liked it
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.
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
Claire Scorzi
Aug 06, 2015 Claire Scorzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Em breve, vídeo para ele (nem acredito!)
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
Susan Oleksiw
May 16, 2014 Susan Oleksiw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Forest Collins
Aug 14, 2016 Forest Collins rated it liked it
I'm not a big dummy, but I initially had a hard time slipping into this & struggled getting through parts of this short (100 page) book. This is the 2nd time I've picked up a book by Stein and I didn't make it through the first one a decade ago...but thought maybe I was in a better head space to get back to her now.

The language is simple, but the style is particular: straightforward phrases and ideas, but strung together in incomplete sentences, unpunctuated, like train of thought or a naiv
Jul 04, 2007 tai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Fyza Jazra
Jun 28, 2016 Fyza Jazra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
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
Apr 26, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 31, 2016 Lorrayne rated it liked it
Shelves: paris
Well, this is an interesting book, but I was not convinced. My issue with it was more content-wise than the style-wise (which, yes, it is not for everyone). While there are some interesting passages, I struggled to find key messages of the book or the direction where it was going. I find her social or political interpretation of France/Paris at the time full of shortcomings, but what really bothered me was the way she romanticised the period to the point of naivety (maybe due to the privileges s ...more
Hilary Martin
Feb 13, 2016 Hilary Martin rated it liked it
This story had a beginning, middle and an end. That is about all I understood about it. It was like reading the ramblings of a crazy person who really hated commas and periods
Shelley Day Sclater

“I was only four years old when I was first in Paris and talked french there and was photographed there and went to school there, and ate soup for early breakfast and had leg of mutton and spinach for lunch, I always liked spinach, and a black cat jumped on my mother's back.” So begins Gertrude Stein’s unique little elegy to Paris. Fasten your seatbelts, you’re about to go on a ride, and it’s not going to be a smooth one. You may not think of it at first – “Paris, France, is exciting and peacefu
JoAnn Goldrich
Apr 26, 2015 JoAnn Goldrich rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2013 Janine rated it really liked it
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.
Jen Jolles
Apr 11, 2016 Jen Jolles rated it did not like it
Runs index finger over bottom lip.
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
Dec 07, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 18, 2015 Judi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Ryan Tiner
Feb 15, 2014 Ryan Tiner rated it really liked it
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
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,
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
Prooost Davis
Feb 20, 2012 Prooost Davis rated it it was ok
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
Louise Carlson Stowell
I liked the parts toward the end of the book better. Her lack of punctuation drove me nearly crazy. She meandered a lot away from the subject. It reminded me more of a rant that goes off in all directions. I had hoped it would have been something in which to compare with other writers of 1920 - 1930 time period who were writing about Paris, (like against Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast") but was sorely disappointed.
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.
Eli Tubbs
Sep 07, 2015 Eli Tubbs rated it liked it
I give this book three stars. Not because I thought it was bad, but because I am such a fan of her poetry that I was let down with the novel/essay/prose piece, whatever one would call it. It was written wonderfully confusingly and I thoroughly enjoyed it... Maybe I'm doing something I shouldn't by comparing but I am. I love Stein and this didn't hold up to MY personal expectations. I would still recommend to any Stein nonetheless.
Justine Morrow
Jun 22, 2013 Justine Morrow rated it liked it
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 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
Aug 03, 2016 M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the subject matter, this left me mostly cold. There was one observation that rang true for me - that writer's have two cities, the one in which they live and the one in which they belong - but otherwise it was like reading someone's diary. That is, it was largely meaningless to someone who wasn't 'there', and very dull.
Bonnie Long
Jun 09, 2016 Bonnie Long rated it liked it
Gertrude Stein provides observations and anecdotes about France just before Paris fell to the Germans. Her sense of humor shines through, as well as her quirky insight into French culture and society. However, the text was poorly edited (little punctuation), which results in the meaning becoming somewhat ambiguous!

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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.” 30 likes
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