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Métronome : L'histoire de France au rythme du métro parisien

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  742 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Saviez-vous que la Lutèce des origines ne se situait pas sur l'île de la Cité, mais à Nanterre ? Que les derniers combattants gaulois massacrés par les Romains reposent sous la tour Eiffel ? Que les vestiges de la première cathédrale de Paris se trouvent sous le parking d'un immeuble moderne du Ve arrondissement ? Au fil de ses découvertes, Lorànt Deutsch vous emmènera ver ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Michel Lafon
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Paul Haspel
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paris
The Métro subway system of Paris constantly carries residents, commuters, tourists, travelers, and visitors beneath the streets of the French capital – 4 million people per day, 1.5 billion per year. The Art Nouveau style in which a number of the Métropolitain station entrances were designed reinforces the visitor’s sense that in Paris, everything is a work of art. The Métro is a vast circulatory system for the human life of Paris; and for Lorànt Deutsch, the Métro is at the very heart of the ci ...more
Paul Haspel
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Métro subway system of Paris constantly carries residents, commuters, tourists, travelers, and visitors beneath the streets of the French capital – 4 million people a day, 1.5 billion a year. The Art Nouveau style in which a number of the Métropolitain station entrances were designed reinforces the visitor’s sense that in Paris, everything is a work of art. The Métro is a vast circulatory system for the human life of Paris; and for Lorànt Deutsch, the Métro is at the very heart of the city.

D
...more
Zineb
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it

Books about Paris are often written in a very academic way. The difference of this book is that it deals with the history of the city in a distinctive way. Laurant Dutsh is telling us the story of Paris throught he history of the subway. The author is a guide like no other that will tell you unique anecdotes about the city and who will take you to untouristic places where you will discover the remains of medieval Paris.

However, I would suggest Le Metronome Illustré better, because it is not alw
...more
Bjorn
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: france
Pleasant enough read (despite a very sloppy Swedish translation), though pales next to what someone like Peter Ackroyd has done for the other burg across the channel; Deutsch is too hung up on buildings and kings to ever write much about life in the city itself, and at times feels almost as dismissive towards the ordinary parisians as the noblemen whose lives he finds much more interesting. That my edition completely lacks illustrations and maps doesn't help. But sure, it gets the job done, acts ...more
Marc
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: france, paris
Overview of the history of Paris, with 21 metro stations as focal point, each covering one century of Parisian history. The formula is nice, but it does not always work. Above ground every now and then there appears to be hardly anything on the history of the corresponding century. Deutsch adds some nice discoveries, but he is a real master in telling the well known stories and he does it well.
Amanda
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I loved the premise of this book — unpacking the history of Paris through its Metro stations. Incredibly clever. However, the execution wasn't without flaws.

The positive: 1. I have to commend the translator, Timothy Bent. This is an excellent English translation. There are no weird word choices or uncomfortable verb tenses.

2. The text is well written and extremely accessible. Lorànt Deutsch composes a fairly strong history without alienating his readers by being overly-wordy or prete
...more
Stephen Heiner
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
It's hard to be disappointed by books about Paris because I feel I always learn at least one or two cool facts that make reading those books worthwhile. But being the train and metro junkie that I am, perhaps my expectations of Lorant Deutsch's Metronome were a bridge too far for our author to deliver.

What I expected: A selection of various metro stations around Paris, with an explanation of the history behind those stops and perhaps a commentary on the neighborhoods around the station. Beyond t
...more
Mike Rosanova
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. I've read the book in French, as well. I love Deutsch's breezy, trendy contemporary French, as well as his eye for economic and political patterns. I never would have guessed that a single book might serve as both a walking-tour guidebook and a serious meditation on social class and culture. I've taught both sociology and psychology for many, many years, and what Deutsch has to say is just a thrill. He can exaggerate or embellish here or there, but I can forgive him his flights of i ...more
Jeanne
this is less a book about the history of paris (or all of france like the french title suggests) and more a history of the famous men and women (but mostly men) that inhabited paris throughout history. i would have much rather had a book on the history of the paris subway system than yet another generic book on french history. at least the premise was cool.
-Anna
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
full of interesting stories about Paris and France ♥
Lauren
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has hardly anything to do with the metro and only talks about the religious people in Paris. Basically it’s a bunch of Catholic propaganda and the Catholic history of Paris. Quite a bore.
Morgane
DNF 12% --for now-- - not in the mood for this kind of read, but will def' pick it up later !
D.A.Calf
A wealth of knowledge but at times the author's voice can become a little grating.
Dimitris Stoan
Good and Informative
Maureen M
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, history, travel
I wrote this review for the newspaper:

“For those who know a little of its history, Paris is a charming puzzle,” says Lorànt Deutsch in “Metronome, A History of Paris from the Underground Up.” A comedian, actor and history buff, Deutsch provides a witty time traveler’s guide to his city. He organizes his chapters by Metro stops, one for each century starting with Ile de la Cité, where you learn that the city didn’t start here after all. At Saint-Denis you find where the bodies are buried (or were
...more
Tessa
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The book was alright. I like Paris very much, so that why it was very interesting reading about it. The idea is nice too, going through the history of a city by metro travels. Somethings were a but long though, while other things weren't described long enough, by example I'm very interested in Marie Antoinette and the Commune of Paris, and those two 'events' aren't described that thoroughly. Another problem I had while reading the book is that it is very descriptive, it makes you want to see thi ...more
Guilherme
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is really good for those who like reading about history. It uses paris subway stations to describe the history of the city from that specific station.

I came across this book one month before travelling to Paris and, depite not being able to finish it all before the trip, it really taught me more about the city than I would have ever expected.

The name in Portuguese is: "Próxima Estação, Paris".

If you plan to go to Paris one day, buy and read this book in advance.
...more
Rolandas
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked how author brought history of Paris going from one object to another. I was in Paris several times and planing to visit once more. After reading the book now I will see not only the buildings and streets but also a story of that building and what period of time it represents. The book is written in entertaining style and it is useful to understand the history of the city and the whole country. Of course, not all periods are covered but it is enough to get big picture.
Sandra
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Not bad.

I advise not to read it in one shot : it can be pretty boring, especially when 70% of the book is dedicated to the antiquity n middle age(so to say, not the best part of Paris).

I think it can also be pretty better to read it at the exact place where it is described.

Otherwise, it's a very good document, the writing is easy, we don't get lost.

To Paris lovers ;)
Bob Pomeroy
Deutsch takes us on a walking tour of French history using metro stations as his organizing structure. The book is part history lesson, part tour guide and part obsessive search for the hidden remnants of lost structures. Did you know that one cell from the Bastille still exists? It's in the cellar of a cafe.
Maria Rihte
Aug 20, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Another French book!!! It will slow read as it is in French and I will have to highlight the words that I do not know and then find them in the dictionary.
I am already dreaming, how smart I will be when I finish reading the 400 pages…
Karl Øen
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I liked this hybrid of travelguide, historybook and personal musings, but found myself constantly checking things on maps, in reference books and on the internet. I recently found out that an illustrated edition of this book exists. I wish I had bought that edition instead....
Tony
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a slog that was. Took me months to finish. The last 100 pages, however, were the most captivating in my view since not as much remains from medieval times in the way of architecture. It was informing to read about the plague and Napoleon III and Haussmann's overhaul of the city.
Russel Hobbs
Jan 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: roman
This is just bullshit!
Becky
Mar 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Given to me by a friend this last week...really interesting. A history of Paris and France through 21 centuries.
Jenny (knasentjej)
Here you can read my review in Swedish: http://jennyjag.wordpress.com/2013/04... ...more
Bruno
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good idea, and very interesting topic. Some parts are a bit boring
Jean-Loup
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good book on the history of Paris. To read with your computer set on Google/street view to check on all the references.
Cee Davis
I found this gem in Paris and thought it would be perfect to read while I was there but it was a little boring.
Anders Rosen
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perfect Paris guide if you want to travel in time.
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Lorànt Deutsch est né dans l'Orne à Alençon d'un père hongrois et d'une mère parisienne ; il grandit à Sablé-sur-Sarthe . Il découvre la comédie au centre culturel de cette ville mais se passionne d'abord pour le football. À douze ans, il est recruté par le FC Nantes dans le cadre Sport-études. Deux ans plus tard, il abandonne et part chez ses grands-parents à Paris. C'est dans une MJC qu'il prend ...more

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