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Publisher's Summary

Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris bureau chief of The New York Times, invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street, offering an homage to street life and the pleasures of Parisian living. While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure. On this street, the patron saint of France was beheaded and the Jesuits took their first vows. It was here that Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted circus acrobats, Emile Zola situated a lesbian dinner club in his novel Nana, and François Truffaut filmed scenes from The 400 Blows. Sciolino reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents - the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheesemongers, the showman who's been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs 18th-century mercury barometers - bringing Paris alive in all of its unique majesty. The Only Street in Paris will make listeners hungry for Paris, for cheese and wine, and for the kind of street life that is all too quickly disappearing.
©2016 Elaine Sciolino (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"The atmosphere on rue des Martyrs is refreshing and enticing in our modern world." ( Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anna on 01-18-16

Not just for Paris lovers.

This is a great book for people who enjoy history, Paris and live somewhere other than where they come from.
It reminds of how people use to know everyone on their street. In this day and age people seem to hardly know the people they live with much less people on their street.
I will be visiting this street the next time in Paris.

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19 of 22 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By RockinRyan on 06-15-16

I really tried, but this didn't work for me

I listened all the way through, but I was continually uncompelled and uninspired. It felt a lot like a high school English paper with a smattering of random facts, sometimes offered in great excess with not enough of a story to bind it all together, nor with sufficient flow. Although I don't drink this could make for a lethal drinking game. Simply take a shot every time Rue Des Martyrs is said. Spoiler alert, you'll be completely inebriated every few pages.

It's clear that the author loves this street and is genuinely interested in its history and people, but it just never got interesting for me. I had to slog through every bit of it. There were vast sections of facts that just weren't enjoyable to listen to. My more well-read significant other said "wow, this is quite self-indulgent" and also "why do you hate yourself?" when I said that I had to finish it. The book does seem self-indulgent, though I deny self-hatred as the basis for finishing the book. I was hoping to broaden my audio book horizons. I committed to the full experience. For me it was far too unstimulating.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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