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Reader reviews and comments on The Paris Hours, plus links to write your own review.

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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
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  • Published:
    May 2020, 272 pages


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Power Reviewer
Beverly D

if you love Paris...
If you enjoyed the movie Midnight In Paris, you will love The Paris Hours. Early 20th century Paris, inhabited by Proust, Stein, Hemingway, Baker et al is viewed through the lens of four ordinary Parisians whose lives will intersect at the end of these 24 hours. Love, loss, memories of war and its impact on these lives is beautifully told as the author weaves current happenings with painful memories . Paris really comes alive as a character in its own right.
Pat B. (Saddlebrooke, MO)

Paris streets
This book was four short stories woven together making a completed book. I love the Hemingway connection. The burnt brother was horrible to read. war can be so awful. Loved Josephine Baker and her performance. thought author wrote about the common streets of Paris.
Mark Stine

The Paris Hours
I was privileged to receive an advanced copy for review. It is exquisitely written. The author has woven the likes of Hemingway, Proust and Josephine Baker into the sad lives of four ordinary people, whose misfortunes culminate in a tragic confluence of events. It is written so visually, I can't wait for the movie!
Reid B. (Seattle, WA)

A love letter to Paris and the magic of hope
Paris Hours is an elegiac meditation on a particular place and time, Paris in the years between the wars, when American expatriate authors and musicians roamed the streets and brilliant French composers noodled about in small apartments, playing melodies that would soon become world-famous.

But one of the many charms of Paris Hours is that Hemingway, Josephine Baker, Maurice Ravel, and (in flashback) Marcel Proust do not dominate it but, rather, serve as foils for the tales of more ordinary people like you and me, leading ordinary lives, just trying to get by with our perfectly ordinary load of pain, joy, and sorrow.

The plot of the novel consists of four narrative strands, interweaving but, until the climactic scene, rarely intersecting. All four protagonists have been wounded, in vastly different ways, by the war, and struggle to make sense of their lives in that context. But struggle and pain are only the underlying themes and not the melody of this composition, Rather, it is love, courage, and kindness that prevail, with undertones of loneliness and regret. These are very human lives, lived with as much hope as they can muster.

It is tricky, of course, to write about Paris without falling into cliche or a certain amount of braggadocio about how familiar one is with its topography. While George neatly evades the former, in the early going he seems about to fall into the trap of the latter. That he never quite does is a tribute to his care and craft. But he does come perilously close to that precipice. Still, this is a quibble when considering a novel as accomplished and heartfelt as this one.

A bit of a warning: the four stories can be difficult to track in the beginning, and you may find yourself flipping back and forth quite a bit in order to follow them. But they soon become very distinct, and in any case the small amount of effort involved pays great dividends. Paris Hours is a beautiful book, filled with lives well-lived, sorrows carried nobly, and so much love--love for a place, a time, and the people who lived them.

4 Characters - 1 Day
This book is billed as taking place in one day. While it does build up to an event on a specific day, half of the book is flashbacks getting us to the day. There are a lot of characters and jumping around and French names, making it hard to keep track. I think the 4 characters are: Painter, Puppet Master, Writer, Mother.
Michelle A. (Elmwood, IL)

Many Opportunities Not Taken
I liked most of the characters in this book, but I thought there were many opportunities for interesting things to happen to them that never did. It seemed that all of the energy of the book was geared only at trying to get all of the characters to the same place at the same time. This does happen at the end of the book, but there isn't much thrill in what happens. One character a door away from the daughter he lost at the beginning of the novel is the best storyline to come out of the novel but it is left unresolved.
Jan Z. (Jefferson, SD)

Paris Hours
The things I liked about this book:
1. The WRITING! There wasn't a single word that was too much or too little.
2. The characters - the 3 main male characters were very believable and my empathy and understanding came pretty naturally.
3. The story was good. Not a "page turner", but it was interesting enough to keep reading. Maybe I should say "stories". There were 4 main characters and they each had their own individual story. I loved Jean-Paul!

The things I didn't like so much:
1. Camille - she was the 4th main character...and I felt she was a bit "off".
2. Using the famous people as a back ground seemed superficial or something. But I did look up Josephine Baker to learn more about her.

Beyond the Book:
  Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)

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The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

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