Book reviews

"Paris noir" (Jacques Yonnet, 2006)

I don't really know how did this book end in my hands—I believe it was recommended as a sort of "if you like these books on quirky London stories, you'll also love to hear the same but from Paris". It didn't disappoint. This book is very entertaining, the narrator is engaging and the pace is quite steady.

It feels quite close to the "fantastic realism" that Pauwels and Berger made so popular back in the 1960s, but with a certain twist in which "odd" things just happen, and the author accepts them just as they are, without highlighting the fact that they are "odd" or magical or whatever other label society applies to unusual stuff.

The book references so many locations in Paris (and some in London!), and the English translation has even more clarifications and notes on aspects that we probably can't know about unless we're immersed in French culture ourselves. I haven't done that myself, but I'm sure it could lend itself to a good "tour" where locations for the events are scoured. Including the locations that do not exist anymore!

"An historian is a kind detective in search of the fact – remote or otherwise – that brings to a set of events apparently unconnected with each other‚ the link that unites them‚ their justification‚ their logic."