Extended Audio Sample

Download Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris Audiobook, by Graham Robb Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (724 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Graham Robb Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781400187102
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 0 votes

This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction. A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night, Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter. An aristocratic woman, fleeing the Louvre, takes a wrong turn and loses her way in the nameless streets of the Left Bank. For want of a map-there were no reliable ones at the time-Marie-Antoinette will go to the guillotine. Baudelaire, Baron Haussmann, the real-life Mimi of La Bohème, Proust, Charles de Gaulle (who is suspected of having faked an assassination attempt on himself in Notre Dame)-these and many more make up Robb's cast of characters. The result is a resonant, intimate history with the power of a great novel. Download and start listening now!

BK_TANT_001384

Quotes & Awards

  • Simon Vance narrates the history with an eloquent British-accented voice that leaves room for human moments and humor.... The strong sense of place in Robb's descriptions may make listeners feel like they're visiting the City of Lights. AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerry | 2/13/2014

    " i wanted to read this because i thought the concept was interesting- a history of paris told through the years through the writings and bits of history of ordinary and not so ordinary people. with the exceptions of a few stories, i felt like it dragged and didn't include any explanation to actually interest me if i didn't already know something about the background. for example, the revolts at nanterre in the late 60s. i had never heard of them before and by the time i'd pieced together what was happening and why, i was just no longer interested. which is a shame because i was actually interested in the background. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 2/1/2014

    " From a master historian of modern France, 1789-now in a series of amuse-bouche, biographically centered Parisian vignettes--a young Napoleon seeking the resumption of the mulberry tree subsidy on Corsica, Madame Zola on the personal cost of the Dreyfus Affair, Inspector Vidocq and the real Count of Monte Cristo, Marcel Proust's fascination with the Metro system, the Occupation of 1940-44 through the eyes of children and Marie Antoinette slowing the escape from the Tulleries by being lost in Paris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Meyer | 1/29/2014

    " I appreciated Robb's love for Paris, and even enjoyed it when I knew what--and who-- he was talking about; In short, I understood more of his references to Parisians than I did to Paris, but when I did understand one of the myriad geographic references to the city, I only then appreciated fully the love affair that Robb has with the city. Perhaps, after several more visits to the City of Lights, this book would mean more to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christina Dudley | 1/18/2014

    " Hard to rate this book because I found chapters of it fascinating and others slow-going. I love history and Paris but dislike short stories, and PARISIANS is structured like a series of history short-stories. My favorite: "Marcel and the Metropolitain," about Proust and the new Metro opening. Robb has an elliptical writing style, and sometimes I just wanted him to give me the story straight. Don't make me work for it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Gray | 1/10/2014

    " I read this in anticipation of a trip to Paris. The book did help me get in the mood and I did learn some fun and odd details about the history of Paris and the people who made that history. But the book sections barely hang together for me and some of them were longer than they probably needed to be for the average reader. I would recommend it to folks with a real passion for Paris but I'd be hesitant for general readers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stuart Chambers | 1/7/2014

    " Delightful, different and very British. I liked this book immensely and finished it only a month or so ago. The early chapters were by far the very best for me, that was the real history. Once I got past one famous French Presidents fake assassination attempt I kind of lost some interest but its still a very good read and written by a historian who certainly knows how to write a very fine story : ) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 1/4/2014

    " There is a lot of variability here, but I really enjoyed the collection as a whole. I read it right before a trip to Paris, and thought of it often as we saw the sights. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 1/4/2014

    " Wild organization of chapters and stories that were sometimes difficult to follow in an audio book. But the stories themselves were very interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Feaver | 5/31/2013

    " A fascinating way to experience the different stages in the history of Paris. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anne | 1/18/2013

    " Review sounded good, reality is dry, perhaps too academic for this non-academic. Will be donated to the library or sold at used bookstore so that it finds the "right" home. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 10/14/2012

    " Uneven but quite entertaining history of the city as told through the stories surrounding a laundry list of it's famous and not-so-famous inhabitants. The stylistic changes between some chapters is a bit jarring, but overall it was fun and informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 9/4/2012

    " Engaging history of Paris as told through the biographies of several quirky characters (the man who built the Catacombs, the criminal who became a police detective, etc.) as well as portraits of more famous figures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Thompson | 3/25/2012

    " Started off beautifully: the chapters about life pre-1900 are funny, informative, and written with both a sense of intellectual bite and of romance. But then the semi-elliptical style starts to seem forced and self-consciously literary and it ended up being hard to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaeleigh Forsyth | 1/9/2012

    " could read this kinda shit all the livelong day "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy | 6/26/2011

    " Fantastic! For lovers of Paris and those new to it, I highly recommend this snapshot of Parisian history to make you fall in love with the City of Lights! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Teri | 6/23/2011

    " I really wanted this book to be good; it wasn't. Even though the author chose intriguing people, both real and fictional, to discuss, he just doesn't tell a good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 5/4/2011

    " Some of these stories were really boring and/or hard to understand for someone who doesn't know Paris; but the majority were quite interesting and it's totally worth reading just for the story about the Count of Monte Cristo. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 5/3/2011

    " This was ok, but I think I might have enjoyed it more as a printed book. My French isn't good enough to keep up with hearing it, and I wasn't sure if the words were place and people names or idioms. I liked the idea, though, of a variety of stories from and about Paris. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nanar | 4/13/2011

    " Something about the writing style really turned me off. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 4/2/2011

    " I'm only two chapters in and I'm already loving this book to pieces! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 2/27/2011

    " Fell in love with Paris, fell out of love with Paris, now mesmerized by an entirely different and intriguing Paris, and back in love again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 2/17/2011

    " i enjoyed this book for all of the contextual details of paris' history. cannot say if the details are accurate or not since i am not a formal student of history. but the contexts did bring to mind this grand city and how much i have enjoyed visiting it. recommended, as travel guide or as history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sjo | 2/5/2011

    " Excellent, true stories about Paris that are esoteric, but collectively paint a great narrative on the city--a must read if you're visiting Paris. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 1/14/2011

    " Engaging history of Paris as told through the biographies of several quirky characters (the man who built the Catacombs, the criminal who became a police detective, etc.) as well as portraits of more famous figures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 1/10/2011

    " There is a lot of variability here, but I really enjoyed the collection as a whole. I read it right before a trip to Paris, and thought of it often as we saw the sights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marion | 11/30/2010

    " Robb has created a historical review of Paris, in the form of a series of vignettes in chronological order. I only read about half the stories - many of them were fascinating, but others were hard to follow if you didn't have proper historical background knowledge of Paris/France. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 11/13/2010

    " Very interesting especially after being in Paris and reading other historical accounts "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Graham Robb has published widely in French literature and history and is the award-winning biographer of Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Rimbaud. His other books include The Discovery of France and Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century. He lives in Oxford, England.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.