Sunday, May 2, 2010

Graham Robb's "Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris"

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paris, without a doubt, is never boring. And this book focuses on various 'moments' in the city's moody history. Graham Robb's book is heavy curated in the sense that he tells various narratives dealing with Paris at a point of crisis of some point.

Each chapter focuses on a particular narrative, and the one's that work for me is the chapter on Napoleon flirting with a whore at the Museum, the Occupation seen through a Parisian child's eye which is terrifying and horrible at the same time, and the one's that have to deal with the criminal element.

The chapter that rub me the wrong way is the one on the great Greco and Miles Davis. He wrote it as a film script and its too cute for the tone of the book. Yet, for me, it's a fascinating subject matter how Greco matched up with Miles - and of course anything dealing with Boris Vian's world is a must for me.

But overall this is a very enjoyable overall history of Paris. It's not the best, but it's really good.

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