- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Little Bookroom (September 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1892145820
- ISBN-13: 978-1892145826
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.6 x 6.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paris Quiz: How Well Do You Know Paris? Paperback – September 15, 2009
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“You may know your Montmarte from your Latin Quarter, but can you remember what colour are the illuminated signs on the Champs-Elysées? Or how many lakes the Bois de Boulogne boasts? The answers to these capital queries, along with dozens more teasing snippets of trivia which are neatly divided into the relevant arrondissement–will have you flicking merrily through this educative jaunt around the streets of Paris and it’s sure to encourage repeat visits.” —French Magazine
“One for Paris-oholics, containing 400 questions to test how well you know Paris.”–Destination France
About the Author
Dominique Lesbros is the author of numerous books, including Mus?es insolites de Paris (Unusual Museums of Paris), D?couvertes insolites autour de Paris (Unusual Discoveries Around Paris), and Les Coulisses de Paris (Paris, Behind the Scenes).
Andrew Branch is a translator based in Portland, Oregon. Previously, he worked at The New York Review of Books.
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Each question is posed in multiple choice format, with three response options. The majority of the questions have only one correct answer, but a number throughout the book may have more than one answer (the authors warn us of this at this beginning of the book). Questions are focused on the arrondissment that each section covers, and each section is color-coded for ease of re-entry into the text between sessions. The questions are clearly worded and direct, and there are no "trick" wordings. But only a few studied individuals, even those born and raised in the city, will be able to correctly answer the majority of the questions.
One fo the really great things about the way this book has been conceived is that each question is a learning opportunity all in its own. So, if you don't get the correct answer (correct answers are listed together at the end of the book), you'll likely learn something new, and perhaps be prompted to study a bit more on the subject.
This is a great book to use when you have a few free moments anywhere, and it can be real fun when used with a friend or a spouse. Those studying French might also enjoy and benefit from going through this text, although, truthfully, the questions are difficult enough that it works best, perhaps, with those who have visited a variety of neighborhoods in the city.
The book is printed on high quality paper with a durable cover, and is sized to be easily pocketable. A great buy for anyone interested in the City of Lights.
The Paris Metro: A Ticket to French History
Reading the book took a bit dexterity, since I kept flipping between the question and the answer sections. My lack of knowledge may have something to do with it, but I found the questions difficult and obscure, although I did guess a few correctly. I finally found a rhythm of reading a question, and then flipping back to the answer, then returning to the questions. Among the trivia I learned was that during the Middle Ages, the punishment for being found guilty of counterfeiting was to be dropped while still alive into a vat of boiling water. Ack! I'm not sure I needed to know that or not.
I have the impression that the author expected the average reader to know more about Paris than I do but this is a neat little book, especially for someone who loves trivia. And I do.
I've been to Paris a gazillion times, lived there for months, get around without a map. I not only have favorite restaurants, I have favorite dishes at them. I'm looking right now at a concert stub from a top-ten-ever Bruce Springsteen concert at the Bercy Arena. And, for an English major, I have read a shelf of French history and fiction.
I like to think I could get a C on a quiz about Paris.
Now comes Ms. Lesbros with 400 "provocative, curious and humor questions [about Paris] to enlighten and entertain".
"Let's forget for a moment the arduous Paris, the everyday Paris, and look at the capital in a new light. What if Paris were nothing but a giant playing field? What if the roads, the monuments, the statues and the history of the capital were the pretext for a thousand questions?"
Okay, a history and culture quiz. I can handle that. But only on a level playing field. Which this is not:
"The questions that follow are each provided with three possible answers, one true, the other two far-fetched, deceptive, treacherous at times. But be careful! In exceptional cases, more than one answer may be correct. Will you be able to recognize them?"
Will I? More to the point, can you?
Let's take the book out for a spin, shall we? Here are 10 questions, not chosen for excessive difficukty.
In 1870 the Prussians were at the gates of the capital. How were the Parisians able to prevent the statue of Napoleon I (which is today located in the cour des Invalides) from falling into the hands of the traditional enemies of the Empire?
a. They covered it in plaster to disguise it as a Roman goddess
b. They submerged it in the Seine
c. They hoisted it into a tree, hiding it in the foliage
The Eiffel Tower, constructed for the World's Fair of 1889, was supposed to be demolished shortly thereafter. What saved it, in 1909?
a. Its aesthetic qualities, praised by three hundred artists in a petition
b. Its technical, scientific and military usefulness
c. The greed of a private company, which had already glimpsed a juicy profit in it
Another about the Eiffel Tower: How long did it take to pay off the loan that financed its construction?
a. 1 month
b. 1 year
c. 10 years
What kind of prisoner was housed in the Bastille?
a. Highwaymen and pickpockets
b. Deserting soldiers
c. Aristocrats and men of letters
How long did it take to transport the obelisk in the 1st arrondissement presented to France by Egypt in 1830?
a. 5.5 months
b. One year, one month and one day
c. Two years and 24 days
Who is the only woman entombed alongside 60 great French men under the dome of the Pantheon?
a. Marie Curie
b. Simone de Beauvoir
c. Flora Tristan
Who is Rodin's "Thinker" and what is he thinking about?
a. Dante, thinking about his "Inferno"
b. Balzac, thinking about a novel
c. Apollo, thinking about seducing the nymph Coronis
How often is the Unknown Soldier's flame lit to the sound of a bugle?
a. Every evening
b. Every Sunday morning
c. Every November 11th
What landed on the roof of Galeries Lafayette on 1/19/1919?
b. A hot air balloon
c. An airplane
Why is the stone of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica so white?
a. Because it's cleaned every week
b. Because it's high on a hill, above fumes and pollution
c. Because it's made from limestone that whitens with even the slightest rain
Answers? You can get them a few ways. One is to Google, which will take some initiative on your part. Another is to buy the book.