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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly beautiful, spot-on observation
Geoff Dyer has the extraordinary ability to write about real people, doing what people actually do, and saying the kind of things people actually say in real life, all in a prose which is almost frightening in its beauty and intensity. He also manages to write about happiness convincingly, a happiness which is all the sharper and more keenly felt because we know, early...
Published on 11 Sept. 2010 by John Fletcher

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classy Clubbing Novel
This is a story about two couples in their twenties in Paris enjoying life and having fun. One of the characters, Luke, turns away from life and love for no clear reason and the thrust of the narrative is another character's attempts to understand why he's done this. Since we know it's all going to end in tears, the happy times become all the more poignant. It's very well...
Published on 5 Nov. 2001 by Bob Ventos


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly beautiful, spot-on observation, 11 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Paris Trance (Paperback)
Geoff Dyer has the extraordinary ability to write about real people, doing what people actually do, and saying the kind of things people actually say in real life, all in a prose which is almost frightening in its beauty and intensity. He also manages to write about happiness convincingly, a happiness which is all the sharper and more keenly felt because we know, early on, that things will turn out unhappily for one of the male characters. The book has acknowledged echoes of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, but the picture of Paris it paints is far more realistic than either (I live there) and shows the city, and its inhabitants, pretty much as they are in real life. Either Dyer has an adviser on colloquial Parisian speech, or he's totally fluent - the French really do speak like that. A beautiful, sad, happy novel that everyone should read but very few could write.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent work of late twentieth century fiction, 9 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Paris Trance (Paperback)
'Paris Trance' traces the lives of two newly formed couples in Paris, thrown together by a volatile, and at times uncertain, bond of friendship, love, lust, sex, and drugs, and their adventures and relationships both inside and around Paris. 'Paris Trance' is skilfully executed throughout, capturing everything from the frustration (both emotional and sexual) of a single man in the heat of a Parisian summer, to the attempts of Dyer's narrator to make sense of the flourishing and later degenerating relationships and personalities around him.
Dyer crafts 'Paris Trance' at his own idiosyncratic (and now his trademark) intersection of genres, not least in his fascination with the ability of prose to convey the visual, as with film and photography, while always remaining sensitive to the emotional climate of the world that he creates. Dyer is also clearly the inheritor of the spirit, if not the style, of earlier twentieth century works of fiction such as Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', and F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Tender is the Night', with his concern for the degeneration of social relationships and the perils of admiration which approaches hero worship. It is the skill with which Dyer executes his exploration into the nature of highly restricted social circles, bordering on philosophy and social psychology, which makes 'Paris Trance' a magnificent, and thoroughly engaging, work of late Twentieth Century fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classy Clubbing Novel, 5 Nov. 2001
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This review is from: Paris Trance (Paperback)
This is a story about two couples in their twenties in Paris enjoying life and having fun. One of the characters, Luke, turns away from life and love for no clear reason and the thrust of the narrative is another character's attempts to understand why he's done this. Since we know it's all going to end in tears, the happy times become all the more poignant. It's very well written and definitely far classier and more thoughtful than your average "we went out clubbing and took loads of drugs" yoof novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An erotic trip of poetic hedonism, 22 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Paris Trance (Paperback)
When you first start to read this book you feel you are being taken into a world which is totally directed towards the ultimate pinanacle of happiness. Luke's unpredictability against the calmer nature of Alex create an underlying tension of just how dominant the destructive side of our personality can be. Their relationships with Nicole and Sara create a dimension of erotic fulfillment whilst exploring basic emotional desires. The poetic way in which this book is written is totally absorbing to the extent that you feel exhausted when you finally put the book down. This book will not be to everybody's taste, but if you have ever considered what uncomplicated and definitive happiness might be like, Paris Trance goes a long way to providing an answer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, witty and well observed prose that lacks something as a novel, 1 Jun. 2014
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Paris Trance is a novel about the independence and vitality of early adulthood and the resonance of decisions made during that most carefree and idealistic period. It’s also about booze, drugs, clubs, ambition, ambivalence, happiness, destiny and sex. Lots of sex.

Four foreigners meet in Paris and become two couples. The novel follows their blossoming relationships, friendship and adventures all the while riffing off Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s novels and life in Paris.

Plot is a very much a secondary concern for Dyer. He is an author who is more interested in place, character and ideas. Very little of consequence happens in this novel other than that which serves to unpick the personality of his protagonists or to explore his chosen themes.

Like Jeff in Venice; Death in Varanasi, Dyer uses a structure that lays out the skeleton of the work during the first half and then fills in meaning during the back-end. In both cases, it makes the first half of the novel drag somewhat (although less so in Paris Trance). Unfortunately, whilst the second half of Jeff in Venice was blisteringly revelatory, here it seems more pedestrian. The ideas seem less coherently structured and arguments less effectively articulated. More than anything, the languid diffidence that the characters direct at the trappings of adult responsibilities seems to infect not only the plot but also the subtext.

The wordplay that is upfront in the punning title continues throughout the novel. Dyer has a real talent for prose; the city is sketched beautifully, the dialogue is arch but naturalistic and wry phrases are deployed with abandon.

Nevertheless, neither the themes nor the characters resonate sufficiently on an emotional or intellectual level to compensate for the lack of plot. Dyer’s sense of place and wonderful prose means that almost every page has something to enjoy but it doesn’t coalesce into a work greater, or even the equal, of its constituent parts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "We all want to believe that truth is incompatible with bitterness", 10 Oct. 2010
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paris Trance (Paperback)
A story of two love affairs in a benevolent la France, and yes - sex, drugs and rock and roll. Given that it's delivered by the sublime Geoff Dyer, what more could one ask? Alex and Luke meet up and are immediately friends, both young, footloose and over in Paris for the ambience. They find work at a warehouse where the regime ranges from demanding to very lax indeed. They manage to find time for football and sometimes that's all there is to do. (Impossible not to recognise the seriousness that young men bring to the business of kicking a ball about.) Luke meets Nicole first, then Alex meets Sahra. They become a foursome, but always staying in their pairs; they spend roughly a year, perhaps a little more, living in Paris, and still the ambience does not disappoint.

The relationships as described are imbued with the light of discernment, but they are all in love and this colours their existence as only love can. Dyer manages their stories with empathy and passion and some of the writing trembles at the edge of elegiac. When a break-down comes it is Luke for whom the idyll falls apart. It had to be Luke, of course - the driven, nervy, druggy member of their small cabal. The book - ostensibly narrated for at least some of the time by Alex - refuses to end with the picture of Luke in his charmless high-rise flat back in London, TV on, subjecting himself to channel-hopping hell and goes back to the foursome's sojourn in the French countryside, putting the finishing touches to their erstwhile boss's luxury villa - days of table-tennis, acid on a postcard sent by a friend, tramping through the forest and being ecstatically in love with themselves and with life. Life should always be like this and for the space of this book, it can be.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most amazing narrative, 22 Dec. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Paris Trance: A Romance (Paperback)
picked this book in the local library after i forgot my halfway read copy of "yoga for people..." on the train, out of sheer desperation for this guy's style. never thought i'd find the same power in his writing in this older book, turned out to be even better, the realism presented in crude yet romantic and soft prose is just too much to miss, his style in favor of the story which is quite gripping itself as it turns out. definetely worth every penny.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An OK book, 10 May 2013
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For an author of Geoff Dyer's reputation this is pretty poor stuff.
It does get better if you can be bothered to persist, but I really had to
struggle through boredom and his sub-standard writing to get to the
second half of the book. At the end I was not satisfied that this was a
value experience in terms of my time or money!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, wonderful, gorgeous, 25 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Paris Trance (Paperback)
An elegant and mesmerising novel - really, adjectives don't do it justice! Geoff Dyer evokes a happiness so intense it can't last - and knowing that it doesn't somehow makes the story all the sweeter. Buy this, devour it, and read The Colour of Memory as well - your world will be a better place.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed., 27 Nov. 2012
By 
C. Grainger "Clairopatra" (Bath. U,K,) - See all my reviews
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I'd been recommended Geoff Dyer by a friend,and this was the first book I'd read by him and was disappointed. I felt that the story didn't really go anywhere, the drug taking and romances were just like going out clubbing in the eighties and nineties.
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Paris Trance: A Romance
Paris Trance: A Romance by Geoff Dyer (Paperback - May 2000)
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