Impossible City: Paris in the Twenty-First Century (Hardback)
  • Impossible City: Paris in the Twenty-First Century (Hardback)
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Impossible City: Paris in the Twenty-First Century (Hardback)

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? RRP £18.99
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Hardback 272 Pages
Published: 11/04/2024
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Waterstones Says

In this absorbing and intimate chronicle of Parisian life from the journalist and author of Chums, Simon Kuper explores the first two dramatic and transformative decades of the century in his adoptive home city.

From the bestselling author of Chums comes an explorer's tale of a naïf eventually getting to understand a complex, glittering, beautiful and often cruel society - at least a little.

Simon Kuper has experienced Paris both as a human being and as a journalist.

He has grown middle-aged there, eaten the croissants, seen his wife through life-threatening cancer, taken his children to countless football matches on freezing Saturday mornings in the city's notorious banlieues, and in 2015 lived through two terrorist attacks on their neighbourhood.

Over two decades of becoming something of a cantankerous Parisian himself, Kuper has watched the city change. This century, it has globalised, gentrified, and been shocked into realising its role as the crucible of civilizational conflict. Sometimes it's a multicultural paradise, and sometimes it isn't.

This decade, Parisians have lived through a sequence of shocks: terrorist attacks, record floods and heatwaves, the burning of Notre Dame, the storming of the city by gilets jaunes, and then the pandemic. Now, as the Olympics come to town, France is busy executing the "Grand Paris" project: the most serious attempt yet to knit together the bejewelled city with its neglected suburbs.

This is a captivating memoir of the Paris of today, without the Parisian clichés.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781800816480
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 380 g
Dimensions: 140 x 216 x 28 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

Praise for Chums: 'A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game. It isn't. It matters - Matthew Parris

A gripping read ... exquisite and depressing in equal measure - Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

A sparkling firework of a book - Lynn Barber, Spectator

Incisive, insightful and timely - Richard Beard, New Statesman

Fascinating ... The picture Kuper draws is of a nation with a decadent and deeply unprofessional ruling class, a diagnosis with which it is impossible to disagree - Hugo Rifkind, The Times

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