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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel Audiobook, by Francine Prose Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Francine Prose Narrator: various narrators, Edoardo Ballerini, Geoffrey Cantor, Nicola Barber, Suzanne Toren, Maggi-Meg Reed Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2014 ISBN: 9780062331847
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A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself

Paris in the 1920s. It is a city of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club's loyal denizens, including the rising photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol, and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine.

As the years pass, their fortunes—and the world itself—evolve. Lou falls in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more sinister: collaboration with the Nazis.

Told in a kaleidoscope of voices, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evokes this incandescent city with brio, humor, and intimacy. A brilliant work of fiction and a mesmerizing read, it is Francine Prose's finest novel yet.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Significant writers are rare, by definition. A writer like Francine Prose, who is not only significant but capable of writing brilliantly about pretty much anything—from obsessive love to religious ecstasy to Lovers at the Chameleon Cub, Paris, 1932, about life in Paris in the twenties and beyond—is not only rare. She is, essentially, the Hope Diamond of literature.”

    Michael Cunningham, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This novel is a reading experience like none other I’ve ever had—a shimmering library of possible truths and forking pathways, an anthology of lies and secrets, of self-deceit and self-indictment, complicity and resistance, myriad tales of glorious transgression. I was addicted to this book.”

    Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Francine Prose’s latest, and possibly best, book goes further in destroying the concept of a single truth than Rashomon. It is also an uproarious portrait of Paris from the mid-twenties to the Second World War. Prose has always been adept at slaying sacred cows; in this book, she pretty much machine-guns them.”

    Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Engrossing...The narrative twists and turns, circles back to add depth to previous scenes, at other times casts doubt on the reliability of a narrator, and occasionally calls into question the entire endeavor of historical fiction.”

    Elle

  • “A master of the craft delivers a riveting period piece that probes the origins of evil.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Francine Prose exuberantly conjures up the romance of that unstable era…Ms. Prose’s novel is filled with felicitous imagery and sparkling period details.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “An oasis of ribald humor, sexual transgression, and military intrigue…So dazzlingly does Francine Prose re-create this seamy chapter of mid-century Paris that it’s tempting to think of her as not a novelist but an editor who corralled all these people into a raucous work of history...C’est magnifique!”

    Washington Post

  • “A novel of great reach and power, a portrait of an entire era. Prose…has a miraculous gift for imagining a foggy quay or a smoky cabaret…A a convincing reconstruction of an entire epoch.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A dark and glorious tour de force…In an intricately patterned, ever-morphing, lavishly well-informed plot spanning the French countryside and reaching to Berlin, Prose intensifies our depth perception of that time of epic aberration and mesmerizing evil as she portrays complex, besieged individuals struggling to become their true selves.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Brilliant and dazzling…A tour de force of character, point of view, and especially atmosphere.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Prose is no stranger to exploring both fact and fiction, but seldom before has there been a more perfect union of the two. Her narrative slyly points out the fickle nature of memory as well as the inherent unreliability of all storytelling. As Prose breathes new life into Paris of a bygone era, even history buffs may find themselves unsure just how much Prose is pulling from history rather than her own imagination. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris, 1932 is a remarkable work of fiction that feels completely true. Richly atmospheric and utterly engrossing, it is not to be missed.”

    BookPage

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A BookPage Top Pick, May 2014
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book

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About the Author

Francine Prose is the author of many bestselling books of fiction, including A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller Reading like a Writer. Her novel, Household Saints, was adapted for a movie by Nancy Savoca. Another novel, The Glorious Ones, has been adapted into a musical of the same name by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, which ran at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York City in the Fall of 2007. She is the president of PEN American Center.

About the Narrators

Michael Crouch is an actor based in New York City. His audiobook narration has won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, and Best of the Year accolades from Booklist, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. He can also be heard on national commercials, cartoons, video games, and the animé series Pokémon XY and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.

Edoardo Ballerini, an American actor, director, film producer, and award–winning narrator. He has won several Audie Awards for best narration, including for 2019’s Best Male Narrator of the Year, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine in 2019. He has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, from classics to modern masters, from bestsellers to the inspirational, from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners to spine-tingling series, and much more. In television and film, he is best known for his roles in The Sopranos, 24, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dinner Rush, and Romeo Must Die. He is also trained in theater and continues to do much work on stage.

Geoffrey Cantor is a magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College. His stage work includes the Broadway play Side Man, as well as Romeo and Juliet and Dinner with Friends. On television, he has appeared on The Sopranos and Law & Order, and his film credits include Public Enemies, When in Rome, and Heavy Petting

Nicola Barber, is an Audie Award and Earphones Award-winning narrator whose voice can be heard in television and radio commercials and popular video games such as World of Warcraft. She is also an Audie finalist in the prestigious category of solo female narrationfor her work on Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen and Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. She has performed on the stage in New York City and at a number of top regional theaters in the United States. Her film and television roles include The Nanny Diaries with Scarlett Johansson, and Law & Order’s 2009 season premiere. Originally from England, she currently resides in New York, a multicultural background that enables her to bring a broad range of accents and characterizations to her role as a full-time voice-over actor.

Suzanne Toren, award-winning narrator, has over thirty years of experience in narration. She was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.

Maggi-Meg Reed has performed as an actress and singer both on and off-Broadway. She is a narrator of many popular audio books, including A Very Long Engagement and The Time Traveler’s Wife. She is the winner of five AudioFile Earphones Awards.