Frances Gendlin's witty and convincing fictionalized memoir, Paris, Moi, and the Gang: A Memoir...of Sorts is more than a romp through the streets of the most beautiful city in the world. It is a paean to the rich and fascinating history that sets Paris apart. As an American travel writer and expatriate, Fran is researching la Ville-Lumière (City of Light) while writing a new guide: paying attention to detail and her entire daily life―filled with her "gang" of friends, a family she tries to keep close despite being so far away, and the possibility of romance hovering about. Calling on her knowledge of Franco-American history and weaving this richness into descriptions of the byways the locals trod in this complex and compelling city, Fran draws us into a story that offers the past and the present, and a way of experiencing Paris that most tourists might never see on their own.
|Publisher:||Summertime Publications, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)|
|Age Range:||9 Years|
About the Author
American publishing, as Editor of Sierra Magazine and Executive Director of the Association of American University Presses. Also directing her own editorial consulting business, The Right Word, she taught writing to foreign businessmen and helped writers with their works-in-progress. Since then,
indulging her love for travel and adventure, she has written multiple guidebooks to Rome, Paris, and San Francisco. For the last decade, Fran
Gendlin has lived in Paris, delving ever deeper into the French culture,
enjoying the French-American expatriate way of life, and being a member of the international literary community.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Paris, Moi and the Gang is part faux memoir, part travel guide, and part romance novel and is absolutely entertaining. Frances Gendlin is a veteran travel author; she writes with a friendly, conversational style that will quickly have you feeling like you and she are old friends. The story is told from protagonist Frances' point-of-view as she researches and writes her latest Paris guide. Paris, Moi and the Gang follows an eclectic group of friends affectionately known as the Gang. This group of American Expatriates truly cares about and supports each other through the successes and failures of daily life in "the city of light." The gang's number grows and shrinks as members travel abroad or return from stints in the US. There's Caroline, the historian, who is researching the history of famous Americans who lived in Paris for her own book; and Sandra, the divorced pianist, and a connoisseur of everything Parisienne from the shopping to the men. Men are not left out of this club and we meet the recent widower, wine aficionado and master of high finance, Richard. Paul and Klaus are the self-professed Oldest Queens in Paris. "The boys" have an endearing uncles-niece type relationship with Frances and are never far when needed for advice on men, failed relationships, and the best spots to lunch. The chain-smoking Alice and her husband, the crusty Findlay, who have called Paris home for over 60 years, round out the circle. Life in Paris appears simple enough; write a little, greet friends with a warm kiss, sit down for great food, wine and conversation at a wonderful locale. However, as Frances often remarks, "everything in Paris is an event." Gendlin shows how seemingly simple tasks like sorting out a cell phone glitch or having new house keys cut become a prolonged adventure sure to test even the most reserved temper, as customer service is non-existent. This is where the guide portion of the book shines as Gendlin gives helpful hints for dealing with cashiers, repairmen, and shop owners in procedures differing from that in the States. Throughout the book are sidebars containing a wealth of useful hints, history, and advice. From the best cheese, bread, and wine, to a unique recipe for scrambled eggs with truffles, to a full restaurant guide and a helpful look at accents. Frances has an appreciation for living in Paris and a romance, so to speak, with the city, not that she doesn't see her fair share of attention from men. She picks her male "projects" and then goes with the flow as events unfold as they may, much like she does everyday. From this book, I take away a belief that visiting Paris for a few weeks of vacation is like taking a single sip of a fine wine; you get a nice taste but not the full experience. Whether Paris, Moi and the Gang is fiction or memoir, it is an exceptional book with characters and scenery so well written and described that you are captivated from the first chapter and your interest is held until the final pages. Anyone contemplating a move to life in Paris must read this book. Think of it as a test-drive! This book is easy to enjoy; if you add it to your summer reading list, it won't disappoint. Highly Recommend by William Potter for Reader's Choice Book Reviews
Brimming with well-developed characters, a delightful protagonist, picturesque details and fascinating historical tidbits, Paris, Moi and the Gang is one of those oh-so-rare books you hate to finish. But it's just as good-maybe even better-the second time!
Ms. Gendlin's faux memoir delivers the perfect balance of fascinating characters, believable plot, introspection and motivation (to go visit Paris!). Even if all of her characters didn't say exactly what she attributes to them, they may well have. Every word of dialogue rings true. Her narrator's internal discussions resonate with anyone who has has an ounce of self knowledge. Likewise, a reader who has visited Paris, or plans to visit Paris, will know immediately of the author's extensive experience in the City of Light. Her other books, guides to Paris, are testament to her 'local' knowledge. The book is a great read and a wonderful gift.