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The Paris Architect Audiobook

The Paris Architect

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Publisher's Summary

Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn't really believe in. Ultimately he can't resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces - behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe - detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.

Written by an expert whose knowledge imbues every word, this story becomes more gripping with every life the architect tries to save.

©2013 Charles Belfoure (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Words like "riveting" and "compelling" aren't strong enough to describe this remarkable novel narrated by Mark Bramhall and set in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1942." (AudioFile)

"A beautiful and elegant account of an ordinary man's unexpected and reluctant descent into heroism during the second world war." (Malcolm Gladwell)

"Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett ... There's plenty of detail to interest architecture buffs, too." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (637 )
5 star
 (418)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.5 (579 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (576 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    C. B. Schindel Pittsburgh, PA 08-23-15
    C. B. Schindel Pittsburgh, PA 08-23-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting"

    I couldn't put this book down. Characters were believable and interesting. Plot was great, with some twists and turns. Captured the feeling of France during the German occupation of Paris during World War, and the question of how people behave in terrible circumstances.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert 05-10-15
    Albert 05-10-15
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    "Captivating"

    Most captivating and extremely informative about the horrors during the WW2 occupation of France. A most unique perspective of the conflict from the eyes of an architect who unwittingly was coerced into helping the Germans was extremely suspenseful and delved into his humanity watching him grow from a selfish survivor to a compassionate hero
    .

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wandering Hoosier 05-09-15 Member Since 2015

    dog lover

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    "Absolutely Wonderful!!"

    I couldn't stop listening to the book. I've read and listened to many Nazi-era books and find this to be one of the best. In fact, anyone who likes Sarah's Key or Those Who Saved Us will also love this one.

    The premise of the book--saving Jews in architecturally designed structures--is intriguing. The author somehow balanced the horrors of the era with happiness. His characters conveyed the best and worst parts of people. Paris and all its glory played a strong part in the book.

    I found the author fabulous! He added to the quality of the book do I'm glad I listened to it rather than read it. He did a great job with different genders, ages, and nationalities.

    I loved this book so much that I'm sad it has ended!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al 07-25-15
    Al 07-25-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story"

    Couldn't put it down. Its very engaging from start to unexpected finish. I highly recommend

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonnie flint 03-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Flawed people can be heroes, too."

    I loved this book. it's almost impossible to put down. I've seen some complaints about the performance as pertaining to the reader's accents, but as a French speaker, I thought he did a great job.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 04-16-14
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 04-16-14 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Grows on you"

    I didn't like where this book started. I loved where it ended. It was about Paris and people's moral limits in war time. The characters all did some interesting life change turns, when confronted with evil past stupidity. Don't know if it was realistic, but it was heart warming.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-19-14
    Noah Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-19-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic Book -- Worth the listen"
    What did you love best about The Paris Architect?

    Great all around story and character development. Also enjoyed the historical fiction aspect to it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It took a little time to get into it but once I was into it, I was hooked.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly disagree with previous comments knocking the narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claycnst 08-05-15
    Claycnst 08-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A five star for sure"

    This book is definitely in my top10 out of 115 Audible books I've listened to. It's been a while since I've taken Time to recommend a book. Nice to finally find one good enough.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 03-06-16
    Ruth Bain 03-06-16

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining story, good narration....."

    but, the writing is awful. So enjoy the plotting (well done) and try not to wince at the mawkish prose. Mark Bramhall did a great job with the accents.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lina 05-05-15
    Lina 05-05-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful story"

    I really enjoyed this story. The narrator was easy to listen to and the story moved along at a good pace. I didn't really want the book to end. Recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Rebecca
    6/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant and heart breaking"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - it's harrowing and moving but very clever and beautiful too


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All characters were beautifully written and read - there wasn't a weak link


    Any additional comments?

    Thank goodness I didn't try to read the book - I would have been torn between covering my eyes and being desperate to read on! Lovely, gentle paced book, beautifully written and read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona French
    3/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Best book in ages!!!"

    I could not put it down loved every page!!! Thrilling, well written so good!!!
    I was so sad as I got closer to the end...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzy
    10/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating Listen -wow"

    What would you do if your country was occupied by Nazis? Lucien is an architect in Paris and doesn't particularly care for Jews, but he is asked to help build them hiding places. This pacy novel follows Lucien and his interactions with friends, colleagues and the occupying forces. Slowly his viewpoint changes and as a reader, we find he has become an unlikely hero. The narration was excellent although at times the German accents were a little dodgy. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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