Sunday, June 10, 2012
The world is having a “Paris moment” right now: Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife has been well-reviewed, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, Gertrude Stein’s collections of modernist paintings are featured in two new exhibitions, and David McCullough’s historical study of “Americans in Paris” is generating a great deal of press. Before all of that, author Carl Malmgren published Paris Metro, a novel that captures the “Paris moment” and the spirit of Paris in the twenties.
Paris Metro is a literary mystery that depicts the dark and violent underside of the expatriate scene in Paris during the 1920s. With a Guggenheim fellowship, Nick Edwards comes to Paris in 1925 to report on the expatriate scene there and to re-connect with romantic interest and Hollywood ingénue, Rosemary Hoyt. He quickly meets and befriends not only Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Stein and their ilk, but also characters out of their novels, most particularly those from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night. Rosemary Hoyt arrives in company of Dick and Nicole Diver, and Nick is pulled into the turbulence, mystery, and violence that beset the entourage. Nick and his friends indulge in a whirlwind of partying and sexual intrigue that only concludes when a murdered body is discovered in Hoyt’s hotel room. Over the next 18 months, Nick consorts with the expatriate crowd, both in Paris and on the Côte d’Azur, sorts out his romantic life, and tries to solve the “Diver case.”
Anyone who enjoyed the writings of Hemingway and Fitzgerald will undoubtedly fall in love with Paris Metro, which brings the authors, their times, and their characters back to life. It is a novel that is both fun and literary, interweaving a page-turning plot with compelling characters and themes that are familiar to readers of the literature of the 1920s. Malmgren’s novel depicts the glamour, spirit, and decadence of the “lost generation” and at the same time purports to solve the unsolved murder from Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night. For anyone who loves great storytelling, Paris Metro is not to be missed.
To contact Carl Malmgren, please e-mail CarlMalmgren@omegapublications.net