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The Resource The Paris architect : a novel, Charles Belfoure

The Paris architect : a novel, Charles Belfoure

Label
The Paris architect : a novel
Title
The Paris architect
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Charles Belfoure
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Belfoure’s suspenseful and commercially oriented debut, set in 1942 Paris, follows a self-centered, ambitious man as he develops a moral conscience. When a rich businessman persuades architect Lucien Bernard to adapt an apartment to create a hiding place for a wealthy Jew, he takes it as a challenge. Despite the dangers, Lucien likes fooling the occupying Germans, the money is excellent, and it comes with a lucrative opportunity to design a new factory for the Reich. Tensions rise as he gets drawn deeply into the plans of both the occupiers and the Resistance. After one careless mistake results in tragedy, however, he begins reevaluating his life. The plot doesn’t skimp on evoking the constant fear the Parisians face or the brutality the Jews encounter. Food is scarce, black market goods are costly, and neighbors rat one another out to save their own necks. With his unadorned, zippy style and broad-brush characters, Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett but with more sex and violence and stronger language. There’s plenty of detail to interest architecture buffs, too. -- Johnson, Sarah (Reviewed 07-01-2013) (Booklist, vol 109, number 21, p44)
  • How far would you go to help a stranger? What would you risk? Would you trade your life for another’s in the name of what is right? Belfoure explores these questions and others in this debut novel set in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Lucien Bernard—who, like the book’s author, is an architect—is offered a large sum of money to outsmart the Gestapo by devising unique hiding places for Jews, though he knows that anyone caught helping them will be tortured and killed by the Germans. Danger is everywhere: Lucien’s mistress, Adele, a successful fashion designer, has an affair with a Gestapo colonel. Lucien's new assistant will betray him in a heartbeat. Offered a juicy German factory commission that involves working with a Nazi officer who admires architecture and art, Lucien’s web weaves more complexly. And when he falls in love with Adele’s assistant, rescues a child, and contacts some of the individuals he’s saved, the stakes grow higher and Lucien’s thoughts turn from money to vengeance. Seamlessly integrated architectural details add to the excitement. Belfoure’s characters are well-rounded and intricate. Heart, reluctant heroism, and art blend together in this spine-chilling page-turner. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed June 10, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 23, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In 1942 Paris, architect Lucien Bernard hates the occupying Germans but feels no love for the Jews, who have been asked to surrender to authorities. Times are tough, though, and Lucien takes on a dangerous job designing hiding spots for Jews. While he's initially motivated by the challenge and the satisfaction of outsmarting the Germans, the job becomes unexpectedly personal when tragedy strikes an occupant in one of his designs. Lucien suddenly sees the plight of the Jews through new eyes, and as he begins believing in the importance of the mission, he realizes he's not only saving them, he's saving himself. VERDICT Architect and debut author Belfoure's portrayal of Vichy France is both disturbing and captivating, and his beautiful tale demonstrates that while human beings are capable of great atrocities, they have a capacity for tremendous acts of courage as well. Readers will root for Lucien as he risks his life and discovers strength and character he never knew he had. Some sensitive readers may take offense to characters' language and attitudes toward Jews.— Vicki Briner, City Coll. Lib., Fort Lauderdale, FL --Vicki Briner (Reviewed June 15, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 11, p78)
  • During the Nazi occupation of Paris, an architect devises ingenious hiding places for Jews. In architect Belfoure's fiction debut, the architectural and historical details are closely rendered, while the characters are mostly sketchy stereotypes. Depraved Gestapo colonel Schlegal and his torturer lackeys and thuggish henchmen see their main goal as tracking down every last Jew in Paris who has not already been deported to a concentration camp. Meanwhile, Lucien, an opportunistic architect whose opportunities have evaporated since 1940, when the Germans marched into Paris, is desperate for a job--so desperate that when industrialist Manet calls upon him to devise a hiding place for a wealthy Jewish friend, he accepts, since Manet can also offer him a commission to design a factory. While performing his factory assignment (the facility will turn out armaments for the Reich), Lucien meets kindred spirit Herzog, a Wehrmacht officer with a keen appreciation of architectural engineering, who views capturing Jews as an ill-advised distraction from winning the war for Germany. The friendship makes Lucien's collaboration with the German war effort almost palatable--the money isn't that good. Bigger payouts come as Manet persuades a reluctant Lucien to keep designing hideouts. His inventive cubbyholes--a seamless door in an ornamental column, a staircase section with an undetectable opening, even a kitchen floor drain--all help Jews evade the ever-tightening net of Schlegal and his crew. However, the pressure on Lucien is mounting. A seemingly foolproof fireplace contained a disastrous fatal flaw. His closest associates--apprentice Alain and mistress Adele--prove to have connections to the Gestapo, and, at Manet's urging, Lucien has adopted a Jewish orphan, Pierre. The Resistance has taken him for short drives to warn him about the postwar consequences of collaboration, and his wife, Celeste, has left in disgust. Belfoure wastes no time prettying up his strictly workmanlike prose. As the tension increases, the most salient virtue of this effort--the expertly structured plot--emerges. A satisfyingly streamlined World War II thriller.(Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10192342
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1954-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Belfoure, Charles
Index
index present
Literary form
fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Architects
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Jews
  • France
  • Paris (France)
Target audience
adult
Label
The Paris architect : a novel, Charles Belfoure
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
983536
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9781402284311
Lccn
2013017034
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781402284311
  • (OCoLC)829740031
Label
The Paris architect : a novel, Charles Belfoure
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
983536
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9781402284311
Lccn
2013017034
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781402284311
  • (OCoLC)829740031

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Yarborough BranchBorrow it
      2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX, 78756, US
      30.3234684 -97.74072129999999
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