The 1920s saw an influx of writers and artists make their home in Paris. Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Josephine Baker, and Cole Porter were among the luminaries who converged upon the city and turned it into an early-20th-century cultural destination. Arlen J. Hansen's Expatriate Paris is both a celebration and guide to that eminent epoch, brilliantly structured in geographical sections that inform the listener of various landmarks and histories. With an erudite performance by Robert Blumenfeld that elevates the city's charm and glamor, Expatriate Paris is a must-listen for travelers searching for lost excitement in the City of Light.
Paris has long been a storied center of art and culture, and of romance, but in the 1920s its magnetism was especially irresistible. From around the world writers, artists, and composers steamed in, to visit or linger, some to reside. This book - a work of immense erudition spiced with anecdotes and gossip - documents their haunts and habits, their comings and goings, their relationships intimate and artistic.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Sticking with fewer expatriates and providing more information. As it is, the narrator rushes from Paris Street to Paris Street, providing house number and American celebrities who lived in them in the 1920s. It might be useful if one only wishes to wander the streets of Paris and exult "Imagine, so-and-so live there for X months." Maybe that's why it called a "guide". But it left this reader (listener cold)
Has Expatriate Paris turned you off from other books in this genre?
Not necessarily. There doubtless is a way of doing this more engagingly.
What didn’t you like about Robert Blumenfeld’s performance?
It was fairly monotonous and quite rushed.
What character would you cut from Expatriate Paris?
Many of them; but my bias is toward more meaningful biographical information, and clearly this was not the author's intention.
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