Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
No one knows a city like the people who live there - so who better to relate the history of Paris than its inhabitants through the ages? Taking us from 1750 to the new millennium, Graham Robb's Parisians is at once a book to read from cover to cover, to lose yourself in, to dip in and out of at leisure, and a book to return to again and again - rather like the city itself,...more
But when a book of history doesn't cite its sources, I get uneasy. And there are no real citations to speak of here. At the end of the book, there's a short list of sources he used by ...more
The thing that made me so mad about this book was the writing. I think G ...more
The subtitle is: An Adventur ...more
The premise is great: follow key characters of Paris through defining moments of their lives (Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, etc.), in a series of vignettes that will ultimately form a narrative of the city itself. Unfortunately, the writer's style pretty much ruined the narrative for me. He had the annoying habit of trying to with hold information, such as the character's name, until the last moment. I think this was an effo ...more
I'm new to Good Reads! The book is non-fiction -- but a very intimate one! It's called Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb.
This is a very different history written by Graham Robb, a person fascinated by Paris. He's also written: Balzac, Victor Hugo, Rimbaud and The Discovery of France -- all before this particular book. This is a very unusual history -- in different time frames, all historically accurate, well researched -- stories from ...more
Robb has a very nice and easy style, at once familiar with and fond of France, yet sufficiently distant so as to note its peculiarities.
As has been pointed out by other readers, the quality of these parts is rather uneven: the film scenario with Juliette Gréco is part ...more
Each chapter focuses on a particular narrative, and the one's that work for me is the chapter on Napoleon flirting with a whore at the Museum, the Occupation seen through a Parisian child's eye which is terrifying and horrible at the same time, and t ...more
After recently traveling to Paris, I picked up the book again, started over, and found it incredibly interesting. By focusing on significant mom ...more
Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Reading, as I was, more for interest and literary merit than for raw information, I was captivated, and I learned a thing or two about the development of the Parisian sewer system, the opp ...more
The book is written in a well flowing, masterful prose but the author's predominantly omnipotent tone sometimes felt annoying. I am not sure if I would not be disappointed with this book if I had a minimal previous knowledge of France's history and culture.It ...more
Unfortunately, I was bored stiff. I listened to this on audio book, and even though the narrator had a wonderful voice, I was so bored that I couldn't keep my focus on the story. When you're more interested by the people jammed in beside you on the subway ride home than your audio book, you kn ...more
I loved this book. Some of the chapters, which are true stories,
are amazing, historical and moving. The chapter on Juliette Greco,
who became a singer and figure in post war paris, also the lover of
Miles Davis, who is playing jazz. It reads
like fiction, screenplay, but it is true. The chapter on Marie Antoinette
Lost, is another amazing example of Robb's writing history as a marvelous
story. ANd the backdrop is always Paris, beautiful and amazing Paris.
Robb was born in Manchester and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied Modern Languages. He earned a PhD in French literature at Vanderbilt University.
He won the 1997 Whitbread Book Award for best biography (Victor Hugo) and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Rimbau ...more
Three of the Water-Drinkers had since died of various illnesses known collectively as ‘lack of money’. When the last of the three was buried, in the spring of 1844, Henry and the others had found themselves at the graveside without a sou to give a gravedigger. ‘Never mind’, said he, “you can pay me the next time, ‘ and then, to his collegue : ‘It’s all right – these gentlemen are a regular customers.”