Good Minds Suggest—Toby Barlow's Favorite Books About Paris's Underbelly

Posted by Goodreads on July 30, 2013
Toby Barlow What strange beasties prowl the streets of your city? Writer Toby Barlow knows. His debut novel in verse, Sharp Teeth, uncloaked the rival werewolf packs that fight dirty for gangland control of Los Angeles. Now the paranormally inclined author reveals the dangers that lurk along the boulevards of postwar Paris. In Babayaga a witch with a dark past, who hasn't aged in hundreds of years, impales her lover on an iron spike in the fifth arrondissement before relocating to Place Pigalle to woo her next prey, a young American embroiled in Cold War espionage. Detroit-based fantasy scribe Barlow shares his favorite books that expose the City of Light's ugly underbelly.

Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin
"As a teenager, I tore through my parents' shelves desperately looking for dirty books. Then I found this and accidentally began reading literature. There is an absolute nature to her phrasing that makes every moment perfectly present."


Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
"He is by far the smartest, most amusing, most mesmerizing autodidact ever. He puts it all out there. My friend once described his work as being like watching fruit decompose. She meant it as a compliment."


Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
"Orwell had a really lousy time in Paris. Worse than London. Oh boy. His experiences traumatized me for a long time. It's almost the opposite of travel writing; it encourages you to stay home. The precision of his work is, as always, piercingly effective."


Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
"Is anything better than this? So dark, seedy, and twisted, so delicious and indulgent. Memorize it and you can frighten off any date you're on."


Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin
"I just finished this. Really liked it. I thought it would be dark, but instead it was a perfectly humble and amusing perspective on what life is like for an American in Paris today."



Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Books About Paris



Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Rob (new)

Rob Atkinson Eugene Sue's "Mysteries of Paris" is very old fashioned now, but a fun glimpse of Paris's underbelly in the early 19th century...and it was hugely influential in its day, spawning a new genre of pulp fiction, the feuilleton. I've reviewed it amongst my reads on here for those who want a more thorough review, along with a number of similar titles about the underground history of NYC, my own special preoccupation.


message 2: by Suzanne (last edited Aug 04, 2013 01:43PM) (new)

Suzanne Douglas Also, do not miss "Paris Dreambook," a chronicle of all the underground places in Paris no one knows about.


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