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The Last Time I Saw Paris

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1945 by Bantam Books (first published 1942)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Wade lived on the fifth floor of a tiny house on the rue de la Huchette, three rooms with a window looking out over all the tourist bars and kebab shops and close enough to the river that the bells from Notre-Dame woke him from his hangover every morning. He was in his seventies and had to pause every three steps to catch his breath when he was climbing the stairs. He had a Chicago accent and a white beard and he wore a long mac with disposable cameras in the pockets, except when he was at home, ...more
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
A detailed 'between 2 wars' memoir by American journalist & novelist
Elliot Paul. For Francophiles and social historians. Paul describes the comings-goings of the residents on one small street: rue de la
Huchette in the Latin Quarter. Here you meet cafe owners, shopkeepers, storekeepers and the Madam who runs a brothel. Paris in the '30s. (The book has no relation to a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor). In the splattered sunlight are a flower maker, an accordian player and the beautiful film actres
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
Alrighty, then! That quite handily destroyed all of my fantasies about France between the world wars.
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, memoir, favorites
As described on the back cover, this is a biography of a street that brings to life a cast of characters. It is a wonderful cast of characters and they are brought to life with the most beautiful writing in the most charming (not banal) way. The description also says this is one of the great portraits of an unforgettable city. This is very true. What it doesn't say is this is the best book I've read in a long time and will take pride of place on the shelf of my all-time favorites.

It spans the y
Elliot Paul was in the thick of the Interwar arts scene, so I am puzzled as to why his books are largely forgotten. His earlier classic, Life and Death in a Spanish Town -- in which he explains the Spanish Civil War through the microcosm of his adopted home, a fishing village in Ibiza -- is what made me want to read this (and you either have to download it as an ebook or get an old library copy from the 1940s).

Like in Paul's earlier work, the road to Fascism is shown through the inhabitants of t
Bob Schnell
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, life-stories
Elliot Paul's "The Last Time I Saw Paris" is the author's memoir of the time he spent in that city between the two world wars. The first part introduces us to his neighbors on the rue de la Huchette and we get to experience the day to day life of this street of the Left Bank of Paris. The second part consists of letters sent to him in Spain, covering the civil war, by those friends and neighbors. The last parts show us how the rising fascist tide and growing Nazi menace affect the relationships ...more
Sheri Hazeltine
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It takes you back to the early 1900s to a little street in Paris and describes the residents and their daily life. A lot of humor mixed with sadness, as it takes you up to when the Germans occupied Paris and how that affected these residents.
Daniel Viramontes
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rarely do I wish to be another person. But in this instance I wish to be - to have been - Elliot Paul, during his time in post-World War I Paris. The friendships he enjoyed, the city which spoke to him in myriad ways, and all the personal and impersonal history taking place in all the moments in between, he writes about beautifully, creating a euphonious gestalt from out of the chaotic intertwining of numerous lives over numerous years. It is most telling, however, when you are able to read betw ...more
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this particular book. It took me back to the old world, I c=actually lived in Paris with my husband Marty and my 2 little boys=back then. The memories oh my god it was so nice but also traumatizing. Anyhow I really recommend this book to anyone who hasn't already. The detail and vocabulary is so deep that you feel like you are magically IN THE BOOK!! ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very lovely slice of Parisian life. Evocative and well-served, if a touch overlong.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A biography that reads like a novel, I can’t remember the last time I read a book where the final words moved me so.
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly well written, heart breaking, brings the humanity of the common French people to the forefront before Word War II. One of the best memoirs I've read although too long for my liking. ...more
Richard McDonough
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an extraordinary book by a Boston area journalist who lived in Paris on rue de la Huchette, a narrow one time market street in the 6th arrondissement. It might be seen stylistically akin to Theodore White's work in American politics. It has the pulse of daily life, an amazing cast of real characters, and significant issues arising in French, European, and world life, the 2nd world war and colaborationists in particular.
A neglected book that will give the reader personalized understandin
May 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: france
I bought this book because a friend of mine owns an apartment on Rue De La Huchette, where this story takes place. I enjoyed the descriptions of Parisian lifestyle and culture in the 1920s and 1930s. It was interesting to see what has changed and what hasn't. Unfortunately, the story itself was really slow and I lost interest before long. I chalk this up to being a good history lesson, but can't recommend it. ...more
Sep 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
worst book I have read... ever. got halfway through and gave up. not to be confused with the book of the same name by Lynn Sheene that I gave 5 stars. I am dumbfounded by what book people are reading who have rated it so highly???
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: france
A perfect companion for anyone visiting the Latin Quarter. It was a lovingly detailed description of a vanished word. Very enjoyable.
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
too political
Jeffrey Swisher
Wonderful book! I have never read a book with the French view of WWII. I want to read more about it. Definitely want to read more books by Elliot Paul!
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Apr 21, 2017
Steven Hevey
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Simon Hollway
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Jan 23, 2017
Thomas M.
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Jun 17, 2013
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Patty Simpson
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Julie Way
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Jun 12, 2013
Don Buckley
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Jun 10, 2011
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