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In my opinion this book does a disservice to the city of Paris. I am left wondering if it is even possible to have such a dark, disturbed and motley crew of people all sharing the same apartment building in such a large and diverse city? I mean really, what are the chances?
The book tries hard to be current and timely in its presentation of extremism, immigrants, angry isolationism and Islamophobia. At times I felt that as a reader I was being manipulated with fears hinted at but not fully explored or developed in the story. Beyond all this, the real trouble for me lies in the lack of characters that are NOT caricatures. Without characters that I can connect with the story remains flat, shadowy and one dimensional.
Further, the author really works hard to make the story gritty--so much so that some of the descriptions of odors and filth were over the top and unnecessarily revolting. I really hated this book. Can't recommend.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful
The narrator makes all the interesting characters come alive in this great read set in an everyday building in Paris.