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The Paris Hours

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  9,850 ratings  ·  1,514 reviews
One day in the City of Lights. One night in search of lost time.

Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.

Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 5th 2020 by Flatiron Books
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,850 ratings  ·  1,514 reviews

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Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is first and foremost a work of literary fiction. I inhaled the pages because of the enhanced prose; every word and sentence was bewitching.
The author took one day in the life of four characters and turned it into a beautiful story. Set in post-WWI Paris, four ordinary people begin an ordinary day until their paths cross.

Mostly, the first few chapters start out with the characters everyday routines. Some ordinary stuff. But the polished language made these everyday things seem fascinating
Elyse  Walters
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Update...’great book’!

.....It was fitting that I read this wonderful novel in one the entire novel takes place in a single day.
It’s truly transporting and immensely satisfying....exactly my favorite type of fiction: great old fashion page turning storytelling.

Having been a fan of two other books by Alex George ....
“A Good American”, and “Setting Free The Kites”....I didn’t hesitate for a second to read another book by Alex George. He’s a top-notched skillful storyteller!

In the Autho
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and vividly told. Alex George’s debut is dazzling and packed with stunning pros. This is the story of a day in a life of four regular people in post WWI Paris. Camille, Souren, Guillaum, and Jean-Paul are all living seemingly ordinary lives, but they all have a story to tell. Told in short chapters we get to know each of these characters both through their current actions and flashbacks to their past. There was also a sprinkling of well-known historical figures throughout the ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Paris Hours is set during a single day in 1927. I LOVED THAT. I also loved the storytelling and was completely swept up in this most memorable story. More thoughts to come when I can collect them.

I received a gifted copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: and instagram:
Four stories, four perspectives, Paris and celebrities?

Four alternating storylines introduce a myriad of characters. We have Souren- an Armenian puppeteer, Jean-Paul a journalist missing his daughter, Guillaume - a painter that owes a debt, and Camille- housekeeper to Marcel Proust.

I wanted to fall in love with this story and these characters so much. I really grasped to let them draw me in emotionally. I found the writing compelling and the stories were strong. There were just way too many cha
Katie B
3.5 stars

The author came up with an original idea for a story which I always appreciate as a reader. It might not have hit me on quite the emotional level I was hoping for, but it was still an enjoyable reading experience. Paris in the 1920s was a wise choice for a setting as it's not a time period that is captured as often in historical fiction as say, the 1940s during World War 2.

The story takes place over the course of a day and alternates between four characters. By the time my copy of the
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some things are forgettable, but misfortune is not. It dogs you relentlessly once it gets the scent of defeat.

Down-and-out, a day late, the wolf at the door all pull up a chair and take residence within the pages of The Paris Hours. But lest you feel the weight of all that suppressing you about now, remember that a determined and undaunted soul travels through life with mop and bucket in hand.

Alex George sets this story in the midst of the streets of Paris in the late 1920's. The world is still
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Set in Paris in 1927, the City of Lights, vibrates with artists of all kinds. However, the story gives the center stage to four ordinary people, who rub elbows with famous artists. By meeting another person, they learn something about themselves. And sometimes what one person needs is simply kindness.

Armenian refugee, Souren Balakian, escapes brutality of his native country imposed by invading Turks. “Being forced from their homes and driven eastwards, into the Syrian desert, to die.” He makes h
Amanda Zirn Hudson
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t felt this way about a book since I read WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.

Every time I read Alex George and think he could not possibly write a more beautiful novel, he does.

After turning the last page of “The Paris Hours” I instantly considered rereading the entire book just so I could experience the magic all over again.

“The Paris Hours” will sweep readers off their feet from the very beginning and whisk them away to early 20th century Paris. It is lush and poignant, it is raw yet sophisticate
Richard Derus
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A polyphonous choral piece, not an extended solo. We are not left in one narrator's head for long; all of them speak to us on this one ordinary day in Paris. Yet what is most perfectly described is, oddly enough, not Paris; it is the interior landscape of the four souls whom Alex George has plucked from his imagination as a former résident étranger from boarding school years. His life there clearly made a deep impression on him. His evocation of fell
Great read... lots of wonderful characters.... great development of the stories surrounding each person.
Really enjoyed the fluid images of places, love lost and found. Super ending! Thank you for the giveaway.
I love, love, LOVED The Paris Hours by Alex George! This was my first time reading a book by this author, but I am definitely going to have to read his backlist now. The prose was wonderful, and the book was so moving.

I listened to the entirety of the book on audio and while at times it could be a little confusing without having a physical copy, overall I really enjoyed it this way. The narrator, Raphael Corkhill, did a remarkable job especially considering how many characters he had to voice.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Four ordinary Parisians on a regular day in 1927 mix with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Marcel Proust and Josephine Baker and Gertrude Stein, and the result is an unexpected overlap of stories and situations. One is Camille, who ignored the wishes of her employer Marcel Proust and kept one of his journals. Another is painter Guillaume who must find a buyer for his paintings before those to whom he owes money force him to pay up or die. Yet another is Souran, a refugee from Armenia, who puts ...more
3.5 stars

I really like this author and loved Setting Free the Kites and A Good American. His books all appear to have nothing in common except for yummy writing and character development.

Here we have four distinct sorrowful characters all in 1920's Paris on a single day. There is a painter in debt to his eyeballs, so he tries to sell his most prized painting to Gertrude Stein, which doesn't help him much after all. There is a journalist/writer who is friends with Josephine Baker, who asks Ernest
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
This is a lyrical novel sharing the stories of four individuals living in Paris in the 1920s. Camille, a housemaid and assistant to the famous writer Marcel Proust, is at risk of losing everything she's ever loved when her jealous husband sells one of Proust's handwritten journals without her knowledge or consent. Souren, a puppet master from Armenia, weaves an intricate tale of loss and pain describing his journey to Paris and the loneliness that followed him. Jean-Paul, a journalist, is taken ...more
Jade Melody
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

This is a complicated book for me to review. Because while there were things about it that I absolutely loved, there was no crazy wow factor for me. I guessed the plot as soon as we were given the slighest hint, and while this in itself doesn't both me (it actually boosts my self-esteem that I was actually able to guess something correctly) it bothered me in the sense that if the reader did happen to guess this one wow factor detail, then there was nothing else, it just ends
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pensive, evocative, and atmospheric!

The Paris Hours takes us on a moving journey into the lives of four strangers in Paris for one day during 1927 and introduces us to their thoughts, feelings, motivations, fears, and dreams, and highlights just how small the world truly is and how easily our paths can cross, intertwine, and collide.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, damaged, and genuine. And the plot is an affecting, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, lonel
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"This is how it ends!?" I cried out loud when i finished.

I'm not mad though.
Camille Maio
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a bit conflicted about how to review this book. On one hand, the prose exceeded even its exquisite cover. There were moments where I just sighed at the beauty of the story or the words assembled. And the ending - perfect!! But - there were so many different characters and timelines that I found it a lot of work to keep track of them. Though each chapter felt like its own small story part of the bigger story, and each chapter was written to perfection, it was the order and the amount of them ...more
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
I love Paris and I gravitate towards novels that are either about Paris or take place in Paris. And this, my friends, has proven to not always work for me. I went in with a great desire to love this book, but the multiple characters and multiple POVs made it a little choppy for me. Although still a good read, not the great read I was hoping for.
Leighellen Landskov
The Paris Hours is historical fiction in it’s finest hour.

A multi POV book set in 1920’s Paris, the story is uniquely told over the course of one single day, while providing flashbacks for reference, perspective, and character depth. Throughout the course of the day, we get an intimate look into the lives of four every day Parisians - an artist, an author, a refugee, and a housemaid - and the challenges and choices that shape them.

While there were cameos from some famous historical figures fro
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: botm-picks
I chose this book for my April BOTM because I love the romance of 1920s Paris. (Midnight in Paris is one of my favorite movies.) The story was darker and more intense than I anticipated, delving into the choices that the four individuals made to get to Paris. It explores themes of war, loss, and desperation, but also the willingness to do anything for those you love. It is beautifully written, but only a little bit difficult to follow the four characters and their timelines.
Julie Christine
Unfolding in Paris over a twenty-four hour period in May 1927, The Paris Hours weaves together the lives of four characters in a tense, melancholic drama. Jazz Age luminaries Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Alice b. Toklas, Sylvia Beach, Maurice Ravel and the late author Marcel Proust make cameo appearances among the fictional characters of an Armenian refugee, an impoverished painter, a heartbroken Parisian journalist, and a desperate housewife.

The circumstances that bring t
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall I really enjoyed this book.  It started of a bit slow, as with the changing POVs we only got a glimpse of each character and it was hard at first to connect or remember which person was which.  But once into the story, we are given more and more details and inner dialogue that helped a lot.  I have recently traveled to Paris and I loved all the places mentioned and scene descriptions. This story technically takes place during just one day in face, and yet each person is transported to th ...more
Mary Morris
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved Alex George's new novel. I found the mingling of invented characters and real people who populated Paris in the 1920s so well done. Fascinating and moving and amazing that it all happens in 24 hours. A real tour de force that I couldn't put down. The troubled puppeteer, the man searching for his lost daughter, the musician who only plays one tune over and over again. These touching portrayals and their powerful stories, all woven together brilliantly, will stay with me for a l ...more
The Paris Hours details the lives of four individuals in the early 1900s whose lives intertwine.

Each chapter gives you insight into one of the four characters in the book, three men and a woman. Each character has a very different background from the others, but their lives all come together, intersecting at one point.

One thing I must say about this book is that the writing is gorgeous. The melodic flow of the words on every page sucked me in and I loved how beautiful the descriptions were. It w
Kimberly Reeves
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it
While beautifully written, this book drags (which is hard for a book that’s only 250 pages). The imagery is vivid, but I was never able to make myself care about any of the characters. Such a neat concept, but left me feeling just meh.
Katherine Reay
Such a fascinating slice of life, following four Parisians, through Paris in the Inter-War years -- and getting cameos of the very famous faces of the day. Beautifully written and well-drawn!
Ashley Curran
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I’m a HUGE historical fiction fan, so when BOTM ⁣has a historical fiction option, I almost always choose it. This one I couldn’t put down! Once I got the characters straight this story sucked me in and didn’t let me go until the very end!
The Paris Hours follows four individuals over the course of a single day.
Camille, a housemaid with a secret. She was asked to burn her employers notebooks but she kept one for herself. If she doesn’t find it, her secret will be revealed.
Guillaume, a painter i
Madison Ickes
I literally booed at the end of this book. I love stories about Americans in Paris in the 1920s, but this was all wink wink nudge nudge reference humor. It completely lacked substance and we swapped point of views too often. I don’t have a problem with swapping POV, but this time it was done as a way to leave you with a cliffhanger almost every time.
I figured out how everyone was intertwined about 40% through with the book, and was disappointed with the ending. This book is pretentious enough t
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Book of The Month: The Paris Hours **Spoilers Included** 11 122 Apr 06, 2021 05:31PM  
Play Book Tag: The Paris Hours - George - 4 stars 3 11 Feb 01, 2021 08:11AM  

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Alex George is a writer, a bookseller, a director of a literary festival, and a lawyer. He was born in England, but presently lives in the midwest of America.

His novel, A Good American, was published by Amy Einhorn Books, an imprint of Penguin/Putnam, in February 2012. It was a #1 Indie Next Pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Midwest Connections

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