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Customer Review

on 5 August 2008
I bought this book in a place in Paris which all wanna-be bohemians make a beeline for, the legendary bookstore Shakespeare & Co. Here, in this building which has been the haunt of bohemians for over a hundred years, I found the book which, I believe, is the ultimate guide to Bohemian Paris; the places, the people, the ethos, the relationships, and the art.
We travel through the early days in Montmartre, where we encounter the young Picasso living in the Bateau Lavoir, surrounded by fellow painters, and friends, such as the poet Max Jacob, to the 'second birth' of bohemian Paris across the Seine in Montparnasse.
What really makes this book special is how it removes itself from the dry, soul-less recounting of dates and events, that many books on a historical subject revert to. Franck manages this by infusing the text with interlocking stories of the relationships between the various inhabitants of this almost mythical world. Some of these tales are funny, some bizare, and many tragic. A winning combination, that perfectly captures the very spirit of Bohemianism.
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