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Books set in Paris

(29 Posts)
VerityBrulee Wed 29-Jun-11 10:48:34

I am just finishing 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' which I am really enjoying. I love the setting and am always on the look out for books set in Paris. Any suggestions for my summer reading list?

Thanks smile

Cheria Wed 29-Jun-11 12:18:06

Are you interested in the classics (Emile Zola 'Nana' series was set in Paris)? Not really beach reads though;

Otherwise there are heaps of non-fiction books written by expats, some of which aren't complete clichés. A year In the Merde, Paris To The Moon both spring to mind - very different books but both interetsing in their own way. "Almost French" by Sarah Turnbull is one of the better ones too.

"Petite Anglaise" by Catherine Sanderson is worth reading; it is non fiction based on her blog and life in Paris. She also wrote a novel, "French Kissing", but I haven't read it.

I'll have to think long and hard about any others. I read one a few years ago but it was such drivel I think I actually binned it before finishing it (very rare - I don't like abusing books - but I didn't want to inflict it on anyone else).

lottiejenkins Wed 29-Jun-11 12:22:37

this is a lovely book!!

Cheria Wed 29-Jun-11 12:24:07

I just remembered "Le Divorce" - it was made into a film.

Novels based in France but not Paris would be Joanne Harris "Chocolat", "Five Quarters of an Orange" and several others.

Erm, more Paris. There is an author called Cara Blacks - haven't read any of her books, but she does murder mystery novels based in Paris and comes highly recommended;

Irene Nemerovsky wrote Suite Ffrancaise (incomplete) and a good part of that was set in Paris...

I'll give you more as they come to me...

MoChan Wed 29-Jun-11 12:35:02

'The Way I Found Her' by Rose Tremain. It starts in England but the bulk of the action is in Paris.

MoChan Wed 29-Jun-11 12:36:23

And I thought it was very good!

dweezle Wed 29-Jun-11 14:04:38

Don't Tell Aldred - Nancy Mitford

The hare with Amber Eyes - quite a bit in Paris

dweezle Wed 29-Jun-11 14:04:51

Not Aldred - Alfred!

Haribojoe Wed 29-Jun-11 14:23:28

Left Bank by Kate Muir

Cheria Wed 29-Jun-11 14:24:25

OH yes, Left Bank is pretty good

Firestone Wed 29-Jun-11 15:25:22

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The Dud Avocado
Elaine Dundy's hilarious novel follows the misadventures of an American girl who impulsively quits college and heads off to conquer Paris in the 1950s. "A delightful few hours of sparkling reading entertainment. Summing up: Froth and frolic." —Newsweek

Terpsichore Wed 29-Jun-11 16:31:52

Another one that's not a novel but is written as a series of semi-fictionalised tales - 'Parisians', by Graham Robb. I'm reading it at the moment and really enjoying it. Full of fascinating facts about the city and its history.

And I too loved 'The Way I Found Her'.....

exexpat Wed 29-Jun-11 16:40:32

Just popped in to check that someone had already mentioned The Dud Avocado - it's a real classic.

exexpat Wed 29-Jun-11 16:41:09

Oh, and to hope that no one was suggesting the Da Vinci Code....

33goingon64 Wed 29-Jun-11 16:43:37

I loved both the Elegance of the Hedgehog and Suite Francaise. I guess there's always the Hunchback of Notre Dame as well!

VerityBrulee Wed 29-Jun-11 21:29:48

Thanks for the recommendations smile

I have read quite a few of them, but will be taking a list to the bookshop! I think I'll root out some of my classics, I remember Bel Ami in particular as one of my favourites.

Douglas Kennedy's The Woman in the Fifth is another good one and Joanne Harris The Lollipop Shoes is set in Montmartre.

Any other suggestions? Dc getting their summer hols tomorrow, I am hoping to spend the two hours a day that are usually consummed by the school run reading and dreaming of Paris!

sonearsofar Thu 30-Jun-11 07:30:31

Many of Colette's short stories are based in Paris. They were beautifully written and evoke the city very well. Also some of her autobiographical pieces - Music Hall Sidelights, The Pure and Impure for example.
she was a remarkable woman, who was married 3 times, had a long term lesbian relationship, worked as a journalist, and a mime in the music halls of the 1900s and was a brilliant writer. Unfortunately, everyone remembers her for the 4 'Claudine' novels which aren't that good.
I would recommend starting with her collected short stories - not all set in Paris, but many are, including my favourute' the Rainy Moon'

MarkMarkMarkMark Thu 30-Jun-11 10:51:39

Down and out in Paris and London - George Orwell, very interesting.

elkiedee Thu 30-Jun-11 13:54:40

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is a novel about Hemingway's first marriage, from his wife Hadley's viewpoint. A major source for the novel is Hemingway's own A Moveable Feast.

elkiedee Thu 30-Jun-11 13:55:50

There's an odd crime series by Daniel Pennac - English titles include The Scapegoat and The Fairy Gunmother. Not sure if they're still in print, my copies were secondhand I think.

MurielTheActor Thu 30-Jun-11 16:43:49

Road To Freedom trilogy by J P Sartre?
Not sure it's beach reading though... hmm

IDrinkFromTheirSkulls Thu 30-Jun-11 21:36:16

Les Miserables wink

Ok, maybe a bit heavy (and depressing) for a summer read but I'm re-reading it atm because I love it!

Cheria Fri 01-Jul-11 11:45:51

Just thought about Paris: A Biography of a City - basically a Paris history but a very readable one - I loved it

Bonsoir Fri 01-Jul-11 12:29:12

The Secret Life of France (not a novel, however) is very good indeed.

SecretSpi Wed 06-Jul-11 12:20:31

"The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer is set in Paris shortly before the Second World War - I'm about halfway through and enjoying it.

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