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The Paris Wife: A Novel By Paula McLain(A)/Carrington MacDuffie(N) [Audiobook] Audio CD – 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 2011
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064CK93Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,110,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Boot-Boy VINE VOICE on 28 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Every now and again you pick up a book and it sings. For me, The Paris Wife is one of those books and I feel very lucky to have found it. Yet now, of course, I'm desperately sad I've finished it, in the sense that I don't quite know how to fill the gap it's left. I feel as if I've lost a lot of friends, good and bad, and I miss them, and the lives they led, now that the last page has turned. That's how good this book is. The action starts in Chicago where twenty-eight year old Hadley Richardson meets and falls in love with a younger man, a struggling writer called Ernest Hemingway. It's the jazz age, the start of the twenties, there's prohibition in America, and people say 'swell' a lot and 'it's a bust.' Written as a memoir, ostensibly (and very convincingly) by Hadley herself but actually by the author Paula McLain drawing on a host of reference works as well as her own glorious imagination, this is literary and social history at first hand, as well as a love story that raises the spirits and then dashes them down. From Chicago to Paris, skiing in Austria, bull-fighting in Spain, and summering on the Côte d'Azur, Hadley covers the tumultous few years of her short and bitter-sweet marriage to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Seeing everything through Hadley's eyes, and heart, what Paula McLain doesn't do - brilliantly - is make her story spin round Hemingway. This is absolutely Hadley's story, beautifully and sensitively rendered, with Hemingway just one of a large and glittering cast of characters - though the most significant - in her orbit. A glorious read from the first page to the devastating last few pages. Five stars just isn't enough.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Told from the viewpoint of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, this is a very evocative book about, not only their meeting and early marriage, but also of literary 1920's Paris. Apart from Hemingway himself, there are many other familiar names - Gertrude Stein, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald etc. Yet, it is Hadley's voice, which brings the characters to life. She comes across as extremely sympathetic, likeable and kind - perhaps giving some of her warmth to soften the hard drinking, hard working, self centred artists that abound on the pages. This is an era which interests me greatly and I have read several books about the people mentioned and the places in this book, but can find no fault with the author. Through Hadley's voice, she has recreated an atmosphere and place of great importance to literature. More importantly, she has created a wonderfully enjoyable novel. Sidewalk cafes, Chanel dresses, street markets and artists are all seen through Hadley's eyes, as she soaks it all up and describes it vividly. This is a book to curl up with and enjoy. I would recommend it highly and will look out for more from this author.
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By Post Scriptum TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This imaginative, sensitive, intelligent novel attempts to imagine a marriage, an era, and a world, and, in my view, it does so surprisingly effectively. Author Paula McLain submerged herself in books, letters, memoirs and anecdotes about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley Richardson and then resurfaced to speak, see and feel as this couple might have done, telling the story of their relatively brief but intensely memorable relationship during a richly evocative moment in modern literary and social history. Amidst a backdrop of 1920s Bohemian Paris, peopled by such figures as Gertrude Stein, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Ford Maddox Ford and Jean Rhys, sipping the wines and the spirits as they mix and interact and compete, McLain looks mainly through the eyes of Hadley Richardson to seek to understand the period and place and explore the rise and fall of her time with a writer traumatised by the Great War and still groping for his literary voice. Through prose knowingly redolent of the period, we move smoothly through some bright and colourful incidents, and some darker and heart-rending scenes, before reflecting on what has died, and what remains. It is in many ways an audacious piece of fiction, and also a rather haunting one.
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By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Paris of the 1920s is now legendary for the importance and the influence that its Left-Bank artists still hold over our cultural heritage, with Picasso, Joyce, Dos Passos, Fitzgerald, Pound, Stein and Hemingway all to be found working there and frequenting its cafés. They may have mixed in different circles, but each were pushed on by the immense creativity and experimentation that the others in the émigré community were achieving, revelling also in the sometimes scandalous details of the unconventional artistic lives the others were leading. Paula McLain's evocation of the period, focussing on Hemingway years in Paris, seen through the eyes of his first wife, Hadley Richardson, is masterful in its documentation of this period, bringing it fully and authentically to life.

The Paris years undoubtedly represent the best of Hemingway. This is where he created his early Nick Adams short stories, his prose miniatures and The Sun Also Rises, the novel that, along with The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night, best captures the personalities and the mindset of those caught up in the fertile changing times of the post-war period. More than just being a creatively productive period for Hemingway, one where he refined and perfected a pure declarative writing style that would almost descend into self-parody in later years, the time of his marriage to Hadley, being poor, starving and struggling to make a living as a writer in Paris, were later looked upon by Hemingway (whose life has also developed into a kind of self-parody), perhaps somewhat idealistically as being a time of purity and innocence that could never be recreated.
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