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Paris Echo

Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

Non-member price: $33.43

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks.

Here is Paris as you have never seen it before - a city in which every building seems to hold the echo of an unacknowledged past, the shadows of Vichy and Algeria. 

American postdoctoral researcher Hannah and runaway Moroccan teenager Tariq have little in common, yet both are susceptible to the daylight ghosts of Paris. Hannah listens to the extraordinary witness of women who were present under the German Occupation; in her desire to understand their lives and through them her own, she finds a city bursting with clues and connections. Out in the migrant suburbs, Tariq is searching for a mother he barely knew. For him in his innocence each boulevard, Métro station and street corner is a source of surprise. 

In this urgent and deeply moving novel, Faulks deals with questions of empire, grievance and identity. With great originality and a dark humour, Paris Echo asks how much we really need to know if we are to live a valuable life. 

©2018 Sebastian Faulks (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Faulks is beyond doubt a master." (Financial Times)

"Faulks captures the voice of a century." (Sunday Times)

"The most impressive novelist of his generation." (Sunday Telegraph)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Voices are as important as the book

I am enjoying the book but cannot continue to listen. One of the narrators has a bad case of vocal fry. If you are going to be a professional narrator I think you need to have a voice that is good to listen to. So much croaking

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for lovers of Paris

loved the sense of place, the alternate voices, the storyline and the mix of characters cultures.

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An excellent story well narrated

The 2 readers transport the listener with hours of relaxed enjoyment through to the end

The descriptive narrative paints a picture of present day Paris and evokes memories of past events, which need to be retold and reinforced for all listeners, especially the younger listeners.

Well worth down loading and listening to. Highly recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-09-2018

Listen very carefully as I shall say zis only wuns

The author's voice jars with the inexplicable pronunciation of the readers. Seems like the text was sent to two random people along with a dictaphone and no other instructions than to send it back the results asap. The rendering of the archived recordings reminded me of Allo Allo! I kept asking myself if I was missing some obvious rationale for this approach. The subject matter includes a re wash of the dirty laundry previously done in Charlotte Gray with a few of France's more recently soiled garments chucked in to make up a full load!


15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-09-2018

Terrible narrators

I had to enter a star for story in order to be able to post a review. But I made it through only the first two chapters because the narrators (who seem to alternate chapters) are truly terrible. The man mumbles, and the woman sounds like she's reading rather than speaking. I'm a big fan of Sebastian Faulks and may come back to this book, but for now I've got the new ones by William Boyd and Kate Atkinson, both of which appear to have excellent narrators.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 07-11-2018

Poor casting, poor production

I’m a huge fan of Faulks but struggled to get more than a few chapters into this appalling production. Why on earth Ehsas has been chosen to read as a Morocan teenager I cannot imagine - it’s like deciding someone with a strong Scots accent will portray a Chinese narrator perfectly. At least his chapters are reasonably well produced though - McBride sounds like she’s reading in a bathroom, and her consistently inconsistent French pronunciations drive one insane - either the character is familiar with a word or not; choosing to pronounce Place or Boulevard wrong consistently is one thing, but just every now and again smacks of poor preparation and a producer who just doesn’t care. You can also constantly hear movement of clothes or paper during her sections, as well as dreadful reverb. I expect better from Random House.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 04-10-2018

Paris Past and Present

I really wanted to enjoy this book as Faulks is such a great writer and I was initially feeling a bit underwhelmed but realised there was no point looking for what was not there ie it is not a thriller so don't look for thrills, there is no jeopardy so don't look for rescue etc. What it is though is a very finely crafted look at the modern day immigrant experience from a certain perspective and a moving account of Paris during the occupation as recalled by an American researcher. How these two lives intertwine is interesting but the most fascinating part for me was the account of a particular Nazi concentration camp on French soil. That really moved me. There was also character dialogue about happy endings being something of a modern cliche but I'm not going to give anything away so you'll have to read or listen to find out where Faulks leaves our characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss C L Cresswell
  • 06-03-2019

Decent enough story; terrible accents

The storyline really intrigued me initially but I have since found it very difficult to engage in the book as the narrators accents are so awful (almost comedic). I'm probably going to buy a hard copy, but fear that the accents are going to plague me and I'll still 'hear' me as each character 'speaks'...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shuna Judge
  • 24-12-2018

A disapponting testimony to Paris

The part of Tariq was interesting and seemed authentic and genuine. Hannah's part was less well-defined and empathetic. However, it was difficult to understand why both characters mispronounced French names when they were both supposed to have a knowledge of the language.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-11-2018

Paris, mon amour

I have not enjoyed a book so much for ages. The main characters are utterly engaging; their imperfections make them human and by the end I felt I had got to know two unique human beings. The philosophical debate about history permeates the book, but is never didactic nor intrusive- just truly thought provoking. The audio performances were excellent. Paris is the real hero of the novel. I now cannot wait to visit Paris... and to read more Sebastian Faulks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms AC Blundy-Mortimer
  • 12-11-2019

A list of Paris street names. Why?

I love Sebastian Faulks but this doesn't work. The young male character just doesn't work - totally unconvincing and incoherent. The whole plot, trying to merge past and present, is just kind of embarrassing and, basically, it's just a list of Paris street names read out for hours and hour by a baffled and increasingly bored and confused reader. Couldn't finish it. And after Birdsong! Ugh. Shouldn't have been published.

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  • Mrs
  • 07-11-2019

Paris Ech-oh dear

Wonderful book. Pretty dreadful performances. Better if you read this one yourself. I'm sure that these two actors are otherwise good but they're hopelessly miscast in this messy production of mispronunciation and inconsistencies.

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  • Ms Hilary Thornton
  • 01-10-2019

Too many threads

I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by Sebastian Faulks so this was doubly disappointing. There were so many different themes going on , made more difficult to follow by the taking of turns in the narrative. I got as far as Chapter 12 before abandoning it altogether.