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Burning Paris - Nicholas Blincoe

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Title
Burning Paris
Author
Nicholas Blincoe
format
Hardback
Publisher
Sceptre
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20040607

When James Beddoes, a former financial journalist, moves to Paris, it is ostensibly to write a novel based on the diaries of Paul-Antoine Brunel, a French lieutenant who became a leader of the Paris Commune during the Siege of Paris in 1870. But James is also in Paris to pursue a Frenchwoman, Flavie, whom he met at a party and with whom he has become infatuated. Although it soon becomes clear that Flavie is gay, James nonetheless becomes drawn into her volatile emotional relationships, all the while secretly hoping that he can change her mind. And in parallel, amid the political struggles and the battles of the Paris Siege, another love story is unfolding - between Brunel and Babette, a married restaurateur. But when James follows Flavie to Palestine, and as the Paris Siege intensifies, all four protagonists are brought face to face with the brutal reality of civil war.

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Nicholas Blincoe is the author of five novels including the award-winning MANCHESTER SLINGBACK and the acclaimed THE DOPE PRIEST, WHITE MICE and BURNING PARIS. Born in Rochdale, he attended art college before going to Warwick University, where he completed a PhD in contemporary European philosophy. He is also a screenwriter and a founding member of the New Puritans movement.

A profound romance about the end of romanticism, juxtaposed with a fractured tale of modern love.
Time Out

Beside his intellect, Blincoe's other great strength as a novelist is his way with plots ... [He] carries all this off with the sophistication of a crime writer, introducing twists so subtly that you might not notice the world has changed before it's too late.
Daily Telegraph

Impressively complex ... Blincoe handles his historical flicker-book deftly and reveals himself as a writer of freshly aphoristic skill.
Scotland on Sunday

Literary Review

Blincoe handles both the period setting and the metafictional fun with flair and assurance. [He] writes pacy prose ... provoking and engaging.
Sam Thompson, Guardian

Blincoe evokes the turbulence of these terrible months of siege, hunger and bloodshed in Paris exceptionally well ... clever [and] ambitious
Scotsman

Burning Paris works inventively on several levels. It is an engaging chronicle of human interaction and a docudrama firmly rooted in carefully observed social history. The Palestinian sieges are graphically evoked in the style of vivid front-line journalism...his observation of modern life in cosmopolitan Paris is sharp, shrewd and graphic, qualities which also define his sprightly style.
David Coward, TLS

Attitude

Allan Massie, The Scotsman

Blincoe handles his historical flicker-book deftly, and reveals himself as a writer of freshly aphoristic skill...With Burning Paris, he has dreamt his fiction into a place where desire and politics, history and farce, explode into new and spectacular seriousness.
Brian Dillon, Scotland on Sunday

[A] heady combination of love, war, and a grand narrative scheme...It's a highly topical novel, and the historical detail is superb...[James's] sense of humour a delight and his ideas stimulating.
Tom Fleming, Literary Review

Blincoe works these two worlds with clever and subtle humour, drawing intriguing similarities between each situation. Burning Paris is a clever blend of historical detail and present day reality painted on a backdrop of war and impossible circumstances.
The Big Issue

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Novelists, English - France - Paris - Fiction.|Paris (France) - History - Siege, 1870-1871 - Fiction.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
352

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