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The Paris Hours  By  cover art

The Paris Hours

By: Alex George
Narrated by: Raphael Corkhill
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Publisher's Summary

“Like All the Light We Cannot See, The Paris Hours explores the brutality of war and its lingering effects with cinematic intensity. The ending will leave you breathless.” (Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

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

Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.

Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: When she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay - but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.

Told over the course of a single day in 1927, Alex George's The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

"What a design! George expertly crosscuts between various plots, coaxing them closer and closer as evening draws on. The tinder has been set and the fire is lit as the action converges on a raucous cabaret in Montmartre." (New York Times Book Review)

©2020 Alex George (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

The Paris Hours is the kind of novel I always dream about finding: a completely engrossing story that had me canceling plans so I could race to the end. Alex George brilliantly conjures a world between the wars filled with unforgettable characters, including Maurice Ravel, Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust, and Josephine Baker. This is a book with Paris at its heart for any reader who loved Paula McClain’s The Paris Wife or Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. I read The Paris Hours without pausing, desperate to see if these marvelous characters could escape the ache of their past. And I gasped when I got to the end.” (Will Schwalbe, New York Times best-selling author of The End of Your Life Book Club and Books for Living)

“In The Paris Hours, Alex George writes movingly of human connection, lost and found. His vivid portrayal of lives intersecting in early 20th century Paris will delight you with its lyricism and touch you with its humanity. There are delicious cameos from famous expatriates such as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, but the main protagonists, all seeking something or someone lost, seemingly forever, are so beautifully drawn they will haunt you long after you reach the end.” (Melanie Benjamin, New York Times best-selling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and Mistress of the Ritz)

The Paris Hours is a feast of the human soul. In this stunning novel, Alex George goes behind the glitter of Paris in 1927 and takes you to the rooftops, the skinny alleyways, the flower-strewn parks, and darkened bar rooms to mine the wisdom of humanity. A remarkable story. Beautifully rendered; gorgeously told.” (Jessica Keener, author of Strangers in Budapest)

What listeners say about The Paris Hours

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Fun Read

This is good and clever storytelling. It is full of name dropping and a by-gone era in Paris. I found the narration to be superb and brought me right into Paris. And, the ending is thought provoking. So enjoy!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting!

While the book was lovely, the ending was quite a cliffhanger. I understood there are not always happy endings in the traditional sense, I only wish Guillame found love, and Souren to not die in the fire. But in their own way, they achieved peace.

The atmosphere was beautiful, stunning and quite imaginative.

3 people found this helpful

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Exquisitely Woven Tapestry of Life

I absolutely loved this audiobook! I’ve been listening to books on audible for many years and sometimes the narrator is not ideal, or maybe the content is boring at times but this audiobook is EXCEPTIONAL! The narrator is exquisite and the content in riveting and remains riveting throughout until an ending that gave me chills when I realized its unvoiced ramifications.

If you love Paris as much as I do and if you love the early years of the 20th century, you will love this book. It takes you on three different journeys that are very gently woven into the tapestry of life.

I don’t usually review audiobooks but I would be remiss if I didn’t invite you to experience this captivating work of art.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

4 narrators, a bit confusing at first

This is a story that builds and builds to the last page. I had to go back and re-listen to the first few chapters several times and even write down a character list to keep them straight. I wish the author would have written 2 female narrators, and 2 male narrators, instead of 3 male perspectives. We need a sequel from the point of view of Suzanne, the most sought after escort in all of Paris!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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What Was The Point Of The Book?

I guess the answer is unhappiness....Some parts were interesting, but there was no connection between the characters until the end...and the end left the reader hanging....

1 person found this helpful

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Complex characters and intricate plot

This is the third book by author Alex George; I've read all three, and each is unique. I really like the complexity of his characters and the intricate plotting. This story has multiple characters, and initially I had difficulty following the different narrative threads because of the muti-national names and Paris locations. Stay with it, those multiple stories come together in a satisfying way. The narrator was great. His accents seemed realistic and he gave the characters distinctive voices.

1 person found this helpful

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Ugh!

These stories are presented in a confusing sequence not at all helped by the narrator who sounds pretentious. May be more enjoyable as a book than in this format.

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Both enthralling and heartbreaking

I like stories of lives that become interwoven. This book definitely has that, but is not always enjoyable. You want to be happy for the characters, but they are often heartbreaking. I did not appreciate the portrayal of some of the famous people depicted, as they were exaggerated caricatures of themselves, often annoyingly so. I could imagine this book played out like a Fellini film on the screen, in all its strangeness.

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Hard follow

I lost interest in this story about half
way through it. The story lines changed constantly, and it was hard to keep
my attention on them.

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What?

I have no idea what the point of this book was. It was for my book club. What a waste of one credit.