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This book was such a disappointment after reading and loving the same author's "Paris, Paris", which I gave three 5-stars. In Passion for Paris, I found I wasn't interested in his telling of the historic characters' lives and relationships. Additionally, the narrator made me a bit crazy. David Bowie is from San Francisco and the narrator in "Paris, Paris", an American with a passable French accent seemed very believable as Bowie telling of his experiences of various parts of Paris.
The "Passion" narrator Jean Brassard, of course had an excellent French accent, but I had a very hard time dealing with the fact that he was telling an American's story. Maybe I missed the point and with this narrator, was supposed to disregard the fact that this was written by an American ex-pat, but it bothered me.
Additionally, because I had so enjoyed Bowie's "Paris, Paris", I tried hard to get through this one, but just couldn't get into his subject matter and abandoned the book about half way through.
The poor performance has detracted so much from this title. Especially at the beginning, and at times throughout the text is delivered with what sounds to me like mockery, almost, one could say, a sneer. Added to this is a frequent (but strangely inconsistent) tendency to stress the wrong syllable in words, for example, ignorance, observation, melancholy, and mischievous. This jars immensely. The fact that the words are pronounced correctly sometimes makes very weird listening.
In the segments when no mistakes were made and one is able to focus wholly on the content, this book is stimulating and informative. Sadly, all too often this listener's concentration has been disrupted by yet another mispronunciation. The author has been badly served by the reader.
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