Brigitte Downey Paris Is the Pits

ISBN 13: 9781907211751

Paris Is the Pits

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PARIS IS THE PITS (when you're down to your last Irish sausage!) Nellie, 18, exchanges the wilds of Kerry for the boulevards of Paris. She's convinced the City of Light will recognise her acting talent and transform her life into one of romance and glamour. Dream on, Nellie! Her tiny apartment is shabbier than the dog's kennel at home. Her friends are all loonies or losers. Her French lover goes awol and she's playing a corpse instead of Shakespeare's Juliet. Paris pounds her dreams to a pulp. But Nellie is staying put until that City of Love delivers the goods!

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A pretentious story about a girl who wants to be an actress but gets a dead end job in Ireland and is then fired. Because of this she must go to Paris to make money. Hence the use of the word Paris and Irish sausage in the title. The text has glimpses of greatness but it muddles through most of the time leaving the reader slightly bored and uninterested. The use of a first person narrator works well because she is believable as a neurotic teenager. Some may enjoy this book, it has promise. -- Amazon Top Reviewer

Neither a bit of uneven writing nor the occasional lull in the action can dim the bright charm of this wickedly forthright and funny first person narrative starring Nellie Flanagan, a plucky teen from Dun-mo-Croi, Ireland (pop.2, 000) who after being fired from her cashier's job at a fourth rate discount store in Dublin heads to Paris in the 1980s to take the French stage by storm. Shakespeare is her passion, and the role of Juliet is her goal. From her small, dingy attic room, Nellie ponders both her failures and grand theatrical designs as pigeons poop and procreate on her windowsill, but the narrative soars like an eagle, when she describes her family members like Aunt Nora, the good- natured religious fanatic, and charismatic Grandad for whom some food is a mortal threat to his dentures. For Nellie, it seems a bulb or two has burned out in the City of Lights as she falls in love and loses her virginity to a cad, gets work in a fourth rate theatre as a corpse,[ and attracts the unwanted attention of a married man. Her friends, too, are artists enjoying varying degrees of failure, and together they buck each other up during the always lean times. It is Nellie herself, however, who is the supreme delight here, and readers, having sadly come to the last page of this memorable treat, will inevitably wonder what happened after that. Tres bon. -- manuscript review by Publishers Weekly, an independent organization

The story does not sound original though the writing style is readable. Although here and there you can find flashes of brilliance, but these are scattered and far between to rescue the story from its dullness. If I had read the excerpt on a book cover, I would have passed the book. All in all, an unexciting story that I would not encourage others to bother to read. -- Amazon Top Reviewer

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Brigitte Downey
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