Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Paris Correspondent, by Alan S. Cowell- Review

Clancy and Shelby are journalists with an American paper in Paris, beasts of the dying age of print, and struggling to board the Internet age of journalism. Shelby is a past his prime War Correspondent who’s not taming down to a regular Internet journalist well, and since they’re considered a bit of a team it’s younger Clancy’s job to help him settle.

Be warned going in, this book has a dense beginning; it easily took me fifty pages to get the rhythm of the book and for the narrator to get down to it and actually start telling the story. This is humorous if only because the narrator is an editor who busily laments flowery story-telling, for several pages of the book.  But the story that spins out of this slow beginning is well worth the effort of getting there, so hold out I tell you, hold out!

The Paris Correspondent is one part homage to yesteryear’s war correspondence, one part mystery and one part character piece.   Mixed together it makes a high end cocktail read, which made me feel I should be smoking cigars and wearing something designer to be it's presence.  As readers are regaled with stories of Shelby dodging bullets through war zones with his typewriter on his back, they’re simultaneously seeing his difficulty with adapting to old age, infirmities and settling down after so many years of running on adrenaline.  Meanwhile they're also getting Clancy's love story with his wife, a french heiress to his poor American beginnings, and between the two it makes for one exotic read.

A quiet surprise of a book, you’ll find yourself swept away with this unusual tale. It lovingly chronicles a dying breed of reporters and it left me with an innate appreciation for how my daily news, be it print or online, comes into being every day.

The Paris Correspondent, by Alan S. Cowell
Published by Overlook Press, October 12 2011
My copy received at the BEA
Buy The Paris Correspondent on Amazon

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