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The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris Hardcover – March 11, 2014
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Similar to her work in The Secret of Chanel No. 5 (2011), Mazzeo’s latest threads a great many strands—stories of a war, a people, a city, a time and place—through a single bead: Paris’ Hotel Ritz. In a narrative style, Mazzeo holds a dizzying cast of persons of interest under glass as they sleep and work, meet and seek refuge in the then-Swiss-owned hotel, beginning with its grand Belle Epoque opening and focusing mainly on WWII and Paris’ German occupation. Truly, fiction could not write betrayal, resistance, collaboration, or celebration with more robustness or with a more alluring who’s-who of writers, artists, and military powers than history did in this single hotel. Amid chilling tales of the terrible ambiguities of war and the treatment and purging of enemies on all sides, Mazzeo offers lightness in her biography of an inarguably dark time through obvious care for her subjects. Friends and lovers abound, and all but the worst villains are showed multidimensionally, as Mazzeo contemplates the Ritz, Paris, and Europe in flux. --Annie Bostrom
“This gorgeously written (and photographed) book is a feast for readers wanting to be swept away this summer. . . . Tracing the captivating history of Paris’s world-famous Hôtel Ritz, Mazzeo reveals a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery.” (Brad Thor, The Today Show Summer Reads)
“Stolen art, double agents, a legendary bartender passing notes to the resistance: This is a rich, messy history.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Mazzeo pulls back the heavy curtains of the Ritz in Paris to reveal a steamy world of sex, drugs, partying and political intrigue.” (Alan Riding, author of And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris)
“Mazzeo enthrallingly depicts a hotbed of both the magnificent and the mundane. . . . Readers will enjoy Mazzeo’s fascinating collection of secretive, scheming historical characters, all under one elegant roof.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Fiction could not write betrayal, resistance, collaboration, or celebration with more robustness or with a more alluring who’s-who of writers, artists, and military powers than history did in this single hotel. ” (Booklist)
“Tilar J. Mazzeo tells the tale of the Hotel Ritz, a landmark so imbued with glamour that it was the only hotel in Paris the Nazis ordered to stay open during the war. The antics at and around it during World War II were often shocking.” (New York Post)
“Must read. . . . Mazzeo artfully transports readers to the Nazi occupation of World War II . . . The Hôtel on Place Vendôme contextualizes the opulence of 1940s Paris, making for a work of history that reads as enticingly as a novel.” (Harper's Bazaar)
“An illuminating history of the intrigue and drama taking place inside its elegant façade. . . . The narrative reads like fiction, with the difference being accurate testimony from well-researched documents and interviews.” (Bookreporter)
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This may seem trivial, but it is an example of the author's complete disinterest in facts. Another is her claim that Ernest Hemingway committed suicide ay his home in Key West. He did not. It was at his home in Ketchum, Idaho..
The author makes statements as though they were facts, when there is not a shred of truth to them. It is beyond pitiful, and a disgrace to literature.
It is sad that anyone would publish such a book., The publisher's proof reader left an unnecessary "t" after the word "only" on page 16. Very sloppy this. I wish I had my money back..
Each chapter describes a different character and chronicles his or her history which makes for a book that is never dull.