Sunday, 27 January 2019

‘THE PARISIANS’ BY MARIUS GABRIEL




I’ve been collecting the work of Marius Gabriel for quite some time now. The first novel I got a hold of was THE ORIGINAL SIN (1992); then I found THE MASK OF TIME (1994). Before I knew it I had at least four of his novels, not counting the Kindle titles I got later on. This book loving of mine is nothing new. Ever since I decided to amass as many racy novels as possible, anything resembling that genre definitely has had a place on my busy bookshelves. So you can easily imagine what my reading room looks like. A tornado of books, I tell you. But am I complaining? No freaking way. I feel rather blessed to have and own so many titles, vintage or current. Some authors I have already read, some I have still yet to. Mr Gabriel used to place himself in the latter category—until a few weeks ago when NetGalley came a-calling for me to review his latest one THE PARISIANS (2019, Lake Union Publishing). Of course I had no choice but to accept.   

Turns out, I very much enjoyed THE PARISIANS where real and fictional characters do a cross over in a plush hotel in Paris during WW2. From Coco Chanel to famed French actress Arletty—not to mention a bunch of other well-drawn fictional characters—all are faced with the invasion of the Nazis and all yearn to survive the best they can. This of course is far from being simple, especially for the central heroine who longs to save her boyfriend who is at the hands of the Gestapo. One thing’s for sure, though, simple or not, their many problems do make for a compelling read. The narrative, as the plot and subplots, is solid, and I found myself totally invested in the denouement of these complicated but oh-so fascinating people. Marius Gabriel has a knack for re-imagining true moments in time, and I look forward to read more of his stuff in the future.  

So I guess I was right about getting a hold of this guy’s work. Funny thing, though, I thought I had everything he ever published but, boy, was I wrong. It looks like he’s also written a bunch of romance novels using the pseudonym of Madeleine Ker, from the 1980s to the mid-2000s. I doubt I’ll ever get to them but I wonder if I would ever change my mind had I easy access to them. Better to focus on the many unread titles I already do own. Besides, I barely have the time or the energy, not to mention the cash, to venture into other publications. Still...



Pick up THE PARISIANS. Like I, you’ll find it interesting, especially if you’re into biographical historical fiction. It’s a new subgenre to me but one I’ll definitely return to now that I had a first taste of it.



Until next post—Martin