I recently picked up an entertaining read that I knew would be interesting from line one of Chapter one which reads “The best time to visit Metrostop No. 1, Denfert-Rochereau is in the morning of Paris’s first day at work, which for most people in Paris is on a Tuesday.”
Call it love at first line. This book is an engaging. light- read that takes the reader on a history tour of twelve metro stops around the city. The book strikes a great balance between offering insights of the city that are of historic value while offering entertaining anecdotes and tales of the city that this blogger is head over heels about.
Greg Dallas’ “Metrostop Paris: History from the City’s Heart” is a worhtwhile read for all Paris lovers and great bed side reading, or better still a great read to take on the metro to the various stops described by Dallas.
Amazon.com describes the book perfectly:
“The book includes visits to Paris’s catacombs at ‘Hell’s Gate’, the literary cafés and old jazz cellars of Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the seventeenth-century alleys of the Marais, along with trips to the Palais-Royal at the time of the Revolution and the world of opera during Claude Debussy’s lifetime. Through the eyes of the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, Dallas describes the German occupation of Paris during the Second World War and the intellectual wars that immediately followed. A visit to the futuristic Cité de la Science at La Villette prompts the story of the Marquis de Morès, the French ‘cowboy’ and anti-Semite, who was eventually murdered by tribesmen of the Sahara Desert in 1896. Outside the Jesuit church of Saint-Paul Dallas tells us about Gabriel de Montgomery – forgotten ancestor of Montgomery of Alamein – who accidentally killed his king just there and, after leading the Protestant armies against Catherine de Medicis, was executed on the Place de Grève. This exciting journey through time and space concludes at the Cemetery Père Lachaise with the unknown tale of Oscar Wilde’s strange involvement in the Dreyfus Affair, the greatest legal scandal of all time.”