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The Paris Hours

A Novel

by Alex George

The Paris Hours by Alex George X
The Paris Hours by Alex George
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2020, 272 pages
    May 4, 2021, 272 pages


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Mary D. (Claremont, CA)

The Paris Hours
The Paris Hours by Alex George is written from the interesting perspective of everyday Parisians in 1927, whose lives occasionally intersect with more famous people of that period: Maurice Ravel whose haunting music comforts Souren Balakian, Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein who rescues Guillaume Blanc, an artist who owes much money, and Marcel Proust who has a great impact on Camille, his housekeeper/caregiver. The author draws a wonderful picture of the city of Paris that the residents see; Paris, avenues, shops. There are absolutely no tourist sites on the itinerary. Even though the events of the book take place during a one-day period, there is enough back story included to get a personal history of each of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, their complexity and the way they deal with their misfortunes, including a climatic conflagration. The description of Paris and the surrounding countryside are so well drawn, I almost felt that I was wandering myself. I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested in Paris of the late 1920s, the citizens and the artists of the area and time.
Dan W. (Fort Myers, FL)

The Paris Hours
I was first intrigued by the title of the book. I have visited Paris several times and I am scheduled to be in Paris again in May of this year. Then I discover that the book covered Paris in 1927 with the added touch of famous figures of Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway being included in the story made it a "must read" for me. I found myself plowing through this book with my reading pace rapidly increasing towards the end to discover the finale. This would be a great book club selection. I am now going to read this book again at a more leisurely pace to savor the characters and what life was like in Paris in the 1920s.
Virginia P. (Tallahassee, FL)

The Paris Hours by Alex George
The Paris Hours is a gem of a book. Set in a period of one day in Paris, it invokes the sights, sounds and mood of the city while giving the reader the a chance to learn the plight of the four main characters. Each person is trying to find something they have lost and at the end all four characters mesh into the story that is finally revealed. I loved the book and I would think anyone would. It is beautifully written and has many well turned phrases and sentences. I had a favorite character. Which one will be yours?
Mark S. (Oceanside, NY)

A Parisian Tragedy
This is beautifully written, almost poetic in structure and visually stimulating. These four sad characters are revealed through their past stories, only to come together on this one fateful day in Paris, where the likes of Hemingway, Proust and the glorious Josephine Baker make appearances which move this tale along. I can't wait for the movie.
Shelley C. (Eastport, NY)

A Slice of Paris in the 20's
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've been to Paris five times and am in love with the city. Mr. George did a great job bringing the heart and soul of Paris to life and making it one of the essential characters. I could smell the aromas and hear the accordion song that is so much a part of this special place.

Mr. George's prose is lovely and his characters compelling. He brought to life an essential part of Paris history in the '20's, when so many Americans came to explore and hone their creativity.

I truly recommend The Paris Hours. It was a wonderful read.
Lesley F. (San Diego, CA)

In Search of Lost Time
Proust would have liked the connection. Midnight in Paris came to mind immediately because again those famous folk drift by. Four souls searching for something lost - time (or people) - after WWI, are each introduced chapter by chapter and then we revisit for more detail. Getting the backstory of the four meant I went back a couple of times to be sure I knew who was who but after that it was captivating. Four great stories for the price of one, as the day in Paris continues. The author has written poetically. The young Armenian thinks that French is "...a language fat with grammatical and idiomatic peculiarities. Even the simplest sentence contains traps for the unwary." Many such comments made me laugh because the two languages I speak, French and English, are absolutely that! The author makes many remarks through his characters that reference other literature. He has created a feast of literary fun. He owns a bookstore!!! What's not to love?

P.S. Thank you for keeping the Armenian story alive.
Bev C. (Latrobe, PA)

The Paris Hours
The narratives within depict one day in Paris in the summer of 1927 and the penetrating experiences of 4 individuals, each "searching for something they've lost."

Secrets and stories, too painful to be told outright, delicately unfold. The novel is beautifully written. Each character is a compelling figure and I found myself quietly rereading passages to experience their meaning to a greater extent.

"When the quartet's paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax,
each discovers if they will find what they are looking for."
(Publisher's Note)

4.5 and highly recommended
Lorraine D. (Lacey, WA)

I lost a lot of sleep due to this book and loved every minute of it. I read at night and my reading sessions were up to 2 a.m. I couldn't put the book down.

The Paris Hours is not only captivating, it is so beautifully written. Vivid and visual depiction of various scenarios, be they tender or rough, are presented in a wonderful flow of poetic prose, painting a distinct image for the reader.

Some novels that introduce characters in separate chapters drag on in length before you become acquainted or engrossed with any of them. These characters are introduced independently, in short chapters, but by the end of each one of those chapters, from the very first introduction on , you are totally engrossed. It was like that with every chapter, from the novel's beginning to end.

Alex George weaves through each character's separate, distinct story with a capacity to capture their emotions, fears, motivations, and history in such a precise way, with minimal words, that is hard to define. Each character's situation and story are totally different from the others. Then, through creative mastery, the last chapters bring together the full picture – with a mind-boggling conclusion.

The Paris Hours touches on the beauty and mystery of the city, the implications and impact of war, the power of love, determination, and the struggle for survival in challenging circumstances.

I've already discussed this book with my book club members; they are waiting for its release. It will definitely be on the next reading list.

Beyond the Book:
  Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)

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