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This audiobook version of Graham Robb's volume of strange-but-true Parisian narratives offers listeners a fascinating history that is frequently encumbered by heavy-handed, often overblown narration from Simon Vance. Robb offers a series of bizarre tales that touch on everything from the first sexual experience of Napoleon Bonaparte to the creation of the Catacombes de Paris, but Vance narrates as if all of Parisian history is weighing on him: his reading is too grand, overly inflated, and pompous, his French accent frequently fails to ring true, and it simply sounds as if he is trying too hard to narrate what should have been an intriguing and charming audiobook. A Norton hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 1).
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There is nothing traditional about Graham Robb's approach to history, and Parisians, like his previous works, reflects his exceptional creativity and wonderful writing. Robb introduces each personality as a mystery for readers to unravel, all the while evoking the sights and sounds of Paris. Although he narrates many of the sections from his characters' perspectives, he also presents each in different form; the tale of the student revolt, for example, takes the shape of a course outline, and the encounter between Sartre and Miles Davis is a screenplay set in a café. The only complaint? A plethora of detail. Yet, as a mosaic of a city, it is an embarrassment of riches, indeed. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Graham Robb sure knows his Paris. He knows it a lot better than you, and he’d like to make you painfully aware of that. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Al
Some of stories where very interesting but other so so especially as you progress with the book, that is the reason behind the 3 star rating.Published 2 months ago by Dino Olivetti
a really good read - did not want to end. Enjoyable on a lot of levelsPublished 3 months ago by skottish weed
The author presents the history of Paris almost as a mystery take. Napoleon, the execution of Louis XVI, Paris underground and the Metro are mixed in with Zola and Houssman in... Read morePublished 5 months ago by wineprof
Easy to read and pick up bits of interesting history. You can jump in anywhere and don't need to reading it from the beginning.Published 6 months ago by William E. Lynch
truly enjoyable and a great read for those who like history and the details of every day life for both ordinary people, and the extraordinary people who contribute to building a... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer