Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 #2020

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 By Francine Prose Lovers at the Chameleon Club Paris A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love art and betrayal set in Paris from the late s into the dark years of World War II that explores the genesis of evil the
  • Title: Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
  • Author: Francine Prose
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 By Francine Prose A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, set in Paris from the late 1920s into the dark years of World War II, that explores the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itselfEmerging from the austerity and deprivation of the Great War, Paris in the 1920s shimmerA richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, set in Paris from the late 1920s into the dark years of World War II, that explores the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itselfEmerging from the austerity and deprivation of the Great War, Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom It is a place 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 patrons, including rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol and caustic American writer Lionel Maine.As the years pass, their fortunes and the world itself evolve Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a racecar driver Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives As the exuberant 20s give way to the Depression of the 30s, Lou experiences another metamorphosis sparked by tumultuous events that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far sinister collaboration with the Nazis.Told in a kaleidoscope of voices that circle around the dark star of Lou Villars, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evokes this incandescent city with brio, humor, and intimacy Exploring a turbulent time defined by terror, bravery, and difficult moral choices, it raises critical questions about truth and memory and the nature of storytelling itself A brilliant work of fiction and a mesmerizing read, it is Francine Prose s finest novel yet.
    Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 By Francine Prose
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      127 Francine Prose
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    About "Francine Prose"

    1. Francine Prose

      Francine Prose born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York is an American novelist She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991 She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN Newman s Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award She is now teaching at Bard College.For information, please see enpedia wiki Francine


    1. First, I recommend reading the author s Editorial Review, posted on the site, for some fascinating information Ripley s Believe It or Not fascinating Francine Prose writes about an actual black and white photo she saw at an exhibition that served as the inspiration for this novel Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932 , by famous Hungarian photographer Brassa , taken at club Le Monocle in Montmartre, Paris The provocative photo shows a pair of female lovers sharing a table, one dressed in a tuxedo C [...]

    2. Onvan Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 Nevisande Francine Prose ISBN 61713783 ISBN13 9780061713781 Dar 448 Safhe Saal e Chap 2014

    3. I really wanted to love this book, I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn t work for me Too many narrators reliable or not , too long, too repetitive, and often too boring I was distracted by the based on real people but not really issue Without a a Forward or an Afterward I found myself spending frustrating amounts of time trying to ascertain what was true, almost true and what was pure fiction For some it may not matter, for me, when the subject matter is the Holocaust, the Resist [...]

    4. Early on in Francine Prose s richly imagined and intricately constructed tour de force, Yvonne the proprietress of the Parisian Chameleon Club tells a story about her pet lizard, Darius One night I was working out front My friend, a German admiral whose name you would know, let himself into my office and put my darling Darius on my paisley shawl He died, exhausted by the strain of turning all those colors History and the people who compose it is itself a chameleon, subject to multiple interpreta [...]

    5. Pssst Looking for a good read Check out the Chameleon Club in Montparnasse Go alone or with someone you trust Step down a few stairs, knock on the door and whisper the password Police Open up Welcome to Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 Inside these smoky pages you ll find an oasis of ribald humor, sexual transgression and military intrigue Our host, Yvonne, is a Hungarian singer with a pet lizard and a weakness for sailors Play nice and she ll let you mingle with one of Europe s most fam [...]

    6. In Francine Prose s popular book about reading and writing, Reading Like a Writer A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, she advocates close reading Only by slowing down and carefully reading every word can we understand what is said and what is not said the nuances of meaning that the writer has worked so hard to put into every word and into the spaces between the words That s good advice when reading any serious writer and of course when reading Prose Is there [...]

    7. Entirely Coincidental This thoroughly entertaining novel carries the usual disclaimer Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental A disingenuous disclaimer in this case, since the author admits that her source is a famous photograph, Couple at the Monocle, Paris, 1932 Unfortunately, no doubt for copyright reasons, this is not reproduced in Prose s book, which instead has a garish cover that does the text no justice this book is not neon but noir This being , I can [...]

    8. The locus of Francine Prose s sterling new book is the fictional Chameleon Club in Paris Montparnasse , and even specifically, a picture of two female lovers at the club taken in 1932 the eponymous Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, who resides in Paris The story takes place primarily in the years leading up to and including WW II, although the shifting narrative perspectives also encompass contemporary time reflecting back to that period Paris comes across as [...]

    9. It took me a godawful number of days to finish this book, so I think it s safe to say The Lovers didn t exactly hook me I don t think the book ever made up its mind what it was about the degeneracy or something of pre World War II Paris or about a resentful, unloved woman who wanted nothing than to be like a man, or about the awesome French Resistance during WWII generally kicking Nazi and collaborators asses It s got some of everything, and nothing stands out I would have given it points for t [...]

    10. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose is an extremely well crafted book, ostensibly about a cross dressing, gender fluid club in, you guessed it, Paris, 1932 The title comes from a photograph taken by one of the book s protagonist, Gabor The story is only partially about gender issues in a time not very understanding but also about Hitler, the drive for submission, courage, art, and love in many different forms.I admired the book but didn t quite like it I find Prose s tone [...]

    11. I swear I m not being arrogant I m far too full of self loathing for that when I say that my World War 2 related book is simply better than this one.

    12. Here s the thing at the halfway mark, this book was going to get a five star review I loved the multiple perspective storytelling I loved the epistolary structure And mostly, I loved the build up to the promised struggles and horrors to come after the sparkling days of pre WWII Paris But then, I kept reading, and instead of a climax, I got an anti climax instead I don t know if Prose came up against a deadline or wrote herself into a corner, but what she was building up to just didn t deliver An [...]

    13. If I could give that book zero stares I would do It was so bad I DNFed the book after 5% So I m only going to review those SPOILER First there is one thing I liked and one I didn t mind The thing I liked is that the author used a letter and a photograph by the same person to start their story with That letter talked about how the Chameleon Club really was because it existed And the photography shows 2 lesbians it s not shown just described That s how the story starts And so I thought cool it s a [...]

    14. I m a sucker for this era and setting, so thanks HarperCollins and for the review copy 3.5 but I m rounding up to 4 Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 is a bright and raucous novel, cleverly unveiled through a variety of voices, sources, and questionably reliable perspectives There are letters home from the struggling photographer Gabor, the brooding dispatches of Lionel Maine, a bitter yet hilarious ex pat, and the narratives of the rich and dazzling Baroness, matriarch of the Rossignol a [...]

    15. This complex litany of voices rewards the attentive reader with a multitude of perspectives on events that unfolded into the Occupation of Paris in WWII By giving each of her selected main characters a voice in the first person, FP allows us to witness the moral trajectory of those under the particular pressure of the times, and the evolution, and the impact, of their choices.This is a difficult feat for a writer to pull off, the authorial voice often drowning out the various voices that would d [...]

    16. I wonder if even a master novelist like Prose can get tripped up when writing about a different time, especially one that many of us have fully imagined in our heads The characters she creates are probably close enough to how these various types of people actually were, so I have no problem with her creating fake people to stand in for real ones and interact with real people of the time.I am actually disappointed most when her characters talk It s as if Prose, not knowing how these various vagab [...]

    17. Like a few other reviewers, I wanted very much to like this epistolary novel set in Nazi occupied Paris Steeped in the art history, gay subculture and belles lettres of an era where all those things coexisted in the world capitol plunging into war and moral darkness, I hoped the book would build as powerfully as, say, Laclos Dangerous Liaisons or even Possession by Byatt But Chameleon Club falls far short of its own aims In the late 1930s with World War II approaching, the novel follows group of [...]

    18. This is not a comfortable novel to read at the present time Despite the cover and title, it isn t a romance at all It is, in fact, a depiction of the creeping menace of fascism and how it encroaches on people s lives The structure of the narrative is interesting, as it consists of various documents in which each writer tells their own version of a single story This story centres on Lou Villars, who is not given her own voice in the narrative As the author s afterword states, she is based quite c [...]

    19. This novel provided an incredible read for me The story takes place in France during the 1920s, the 1930s, and the 1940s, the time when fascism was coming to the fore and taking over Europe The characters are unusual and diverse The story revolves around one character, Lou Villars, who is a cross dressing lesbian The other characters include a Hungarian photographer, a baroness, an American writer reporter, and a woman who runs a nightclub called the Chameleon Club This club attracts cross dress [...]

    20. Vaguely disappointing The story was interesting, and the manner of telling it, from varied points of view, should have really sparked it I mean, a chronically lovelorn and disappointed cross dressing French patriot turned Nazi collaborator With supporting characters that included a Brassai like photographer of Paris seamier side, a sexy but celibate countess, and a Henry Miller type literary rake who managed to cash in on his disappointment with the bright lights of late 1930s Paris, a neurotic [...]

    21. In the preface of Francine Prose s astonishing Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, the author tells how a Brassai photograph, Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932, inspired her novel about art, love, evil, money, auto racing, espionage, insomnia, seduction and betrayal and the way that history changes depending on who tells it That sounds comprehensive and fascinating, but Lovers at the Chameleon Club is so much part loving critique of human frailty, part celebration of heroism, part cautio [...]

    22. I ve been a fan of Francine Prose since reading her wonderful and witty novel, Blue Angel , many years ago Her latest, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 is magnificent full of wonderful characters, unusually quirky settings, and strong some reliable than others narrative voices.The novel proffers a unique WWII story told from various perspectives Gabor Tsenyi is a young Hungarian photographer struggling to make a name for himself in the Parisian art scene His patroness is Lily de Rossign [...]

    23. A review on advised not to skip the preface in the book There is no preface in this book and I searched the web for what that bit might have contained Perhaps the preface was an essay on the Mystery of Evil, perhaps it shared the true story of a woman formed, then forged by time and events The mention of a missing preface about Evil set the stage in time for this book 1934 in Paris, the American writer Lionel Maine describes the scene Unemployment, inflation, mass bankruptcy, immigration, a crus [...]

    24. A very enjoyable and riveting story taking place in Paris before and during the Nazi occupation It was written as a partial biography of Lou Villars, a presumably fictional French lesbian auto racer turned Nazi informant and later Gestapo torturer The biography was being written by the supposed grand niece of one of the main characters and Resistance heroine, Suzanne Denois Tsenyi wife of the main character, a famed Hungarian photographer working in Paris at the time named Gabor Tsenyi Further c [...]

    25. Maybe of a 3.5, but it was an impressive look at one of the most fascinating eras in Paris Each perspective was unique and brought something new to the story, and though it was a bit slow, I enjoyed it This may be the start of a tradition where I read books set in Paris every May

    26. Sometimes the story exceeds the abilities of the teller Francine Prose is a talented writer, but her imaginative reconstruction of the life of the French bisexual athlete and traitor Violette Morris renamed Lou Villars in the historical novel is less successful than it could have been Prose originally considered writing a biography of Morris but decided that a fictionalized account offered possibilities Despite the or less accurate evocation of the Paris of the years leading up to and includin [...]

    27. Inspired by the portrait Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1931 taken by Hungarian photographer Brassai, Francine Prose takes poetic license to write this historical fiction novel Prose uses real people to create her characters In the novel, Gabor Tsenyi is based on Brassai s life in Paris Brassi did take portraits of the seedier side of nighttime Paris in addition to the High Society of Paris Brassi became friends with American author Henry Miller who is loosely portrayed by the character Lionel Ma [...]

    28. Oh, Kerri Miller, you really sold me on this, and let me down I love historical fiction, especially WWII I heard an in depth interview with F Prose on MPR over a year ago and was immediately interested in reading this book It sounded just incredible and unbelievable, yet based on true events I got it on my kindle, intentionally, which is always an obstacle as I prefer paper pages Is that what set me up for disappointment I don t think so I brought it on my trip to Machu Picchu, many long days an [...]

    29. Presented through diary entries, letters, memoir and biography chapters and newspaper articles, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 retells the exploits of a circle of bohemian Parisians and a few Nazis linked by their connection to a tawdry nightclub featuring acts by cross dressers Francine Prose s characters the novel features about eight voices are so artfully crafted you will be surprised to find, when you inevitably Google them, that they are drawn from her imagination and that this i [...]

    30. 3.5 stars.Frustrating, ambitious, and well worth reading, albeit with some pretty serious caveats I m not sure why Prose chose an epistolary format as Lou s dodgy biographer provides than enough to dig into her turn toward the dark side And maybe I just enjoy historical novels better when they unfold through minutia and build tension with small details There s too little of this in the first 200 pages nearly every single missive or diary entry is full of generic gushing for the wonder of pre wa [...]

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