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Companion place to the enchanting The Last Time I Saw and with much of its charm, albeit at times a disturbing portrait. For Elliot Paul gives us a Paris where Communists number about one in three, a fact recurrently evident in a rather casual statement of fact, or record of dialogue, or evidence in action. There is no aggressive and militant Communism here, except as the Mexican visitors were deliberately harried on arrival, their way made difficult, until their identity as sympathetic, presumably, to the Communist goals cleared their way. Aside from this pervasive element in his portrait of a segment of a city (that rue de la Ruchette we came to know so intimately in the earlier book), this is again a warm and human and frequently humorous profile, the mood of the French in postwar Paris, where black market dealings in currency were an essential factor in everyday living, where change had come, but the people went on, where gaiety and ineffectuality and a lovable madness still dominated the character of place and tempo. There are slender threads of story, as for example the beguiling and wholly French tale of the gutter, Christophe, reincarnated as a respectable citizen by recognition of a chance resemblance to the Prime Minister. There's the puzzle of the D.P.'s and what to do with them. There's the story of the painting, and of how a penniless painter held up a hotel clerk for a vast sum when he heard that an accident had befallen the painting. Odd bits, epi, incredibly Gallio -- in the Paris of the Spring of '49.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1950
Publisher: Random House