Ivan's Reviews > Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.

Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer
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's review
Dec 05, 09

Ever just feel like chucking it all - your job, your bills and all your other obligations? Well, my friends, you're gonna love this book. For circumstances somewhat beyond his control, author Mercer fled his Canadian home and found refuge in Shakespeare and Company, the famous Paris bookstore.

It's important to note that this isn't Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Company, but rather George Whitman's Shakespeare and Company - a bookstore and would-be-writer flophouse. Whitman - no relation to Walt Whitman (yes - that question does come up) - has owned and operated the store for more than fifty years and appropriated the name with the permission of Ms. Beach (who closed the original store when the Nazi's occupied France).

Mercer's memoir is equal parts biography and travel narrative, and an always entertaining portrait of Paris, Whitman and the denizens of the left bank. Fanciful, colorful, engaging and informative - "Time Was Soft There" is perfect for book lovers, and anyone who has ever fantasized about taking a sabbitcal from their hum-drum lives of obligation and responsibility. Enjoy.
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