Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Exiles: A Mystery In Paris by Lawrence J. Epstein

The basic premise of this story is about a young man named Daniel that is fresh out of the war, where he saw many horrible things that have forever changed him. After the war he decides to go to Paris to become a writer. Arriving with very little money he luckily meets and become friends with a book shop owner who gives him a job, money and a place to live. Also on his first day in Paris there is a murder of the owner of a local literary magazine, and from this you find out that Daniel is very perceptive and is pushed to solve the crime, but he does not want to because to do so would mean he has to face his worst memory.

When it comes to the story itself, I have to say it is one of the most beautifully written stories I have read in a while. The language is reminiscent to a beloved classic novel by a great author from our past. But just because a novel is beautifully written does it make it worth reading? Personally I find this novel to be just so-so, meaning the plot of the story is good, but the execution not so much. The author mentions how many people go to Paris to write because they know their way around words, but lack the skill to properly write a story, and many times I felt that this statement rang true for this story.  The author is very repetitive in the story, with Daniel complaining how he cannot write but does not want to do anything else. Those in the literary community around him try to tell him that he is not good enough to be a writer so he should work with his strengths and investigate the murder, but he does not want to do that he wants to write yet he cannot. Just round and a round and a round. Spoiler though…. He does end up investigating the murder.

The story is also very long, especially considering how little happens in it. So in conclusion, I like the language the author uses and the basic plot, but I wished it was shorter and had more meat to the plot itself and the fat of the repetitiveness cut out. So I would rate this a 2.5 or 3 out of 5.


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