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The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and…
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The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in… (Original 2014; 2015. Auflage)

von Tilar J Mazzeo (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
223894,727 (3.5)3
Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of World War II, The Hôtel on Place Vendôme is the captivating history of Paris's world-famous Hôtel Ritz--a breathtaking tale of glamour, opulence, and celebrity; dangerous liaisons, espionage, and resistance--from Tilar J. Manzeo, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot and The Secret of Chanel No. 5 When France fell to the Germans in June 1940, the legendary Hôtel Ritz on the Place Vendôme--an icon of Paris frequented by film stars and celebrity writers, American heiresses and risqué flappers, playboys, and princes--was the only luxury hotel of its kind allowed in the occupied city by order of Adolf Hitler. Tilar J. Mazzeo traces the history of this cultural landmark from its opening in fin de siècle Paris. At its center, The Hotel on Place Vendôme is an extraordinary chronicle of life at the Ritz during wartime, when the Hôtel was simultaneously headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, such as Reichsmarshal Hermann Göring, and home to exclusive patrons, including Coco Chanel. Mazzeo takes us into the grand palace's suites, bars, dining rooms, and wine cellars, revealing a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery. Rich in detail, illustrated with black-and-white photos, The Hotel on Place Vendôme is a remarkable look at this extraordinary crucible where the future of post-war France--and all of post-war Europe--was transformed. … (mehr)
Mitglied:topoobie
Titel:The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris
Autoren:Tilar J Mazzeo (Autor)
Info:Harper Perennial (2015), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
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The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris von Tilar J. Mazzeo (2014)

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    Hotel Florida: Wahrheit, Liebe und Verrat im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg von Amanda Vaill (sloreck)
    sloreck: Many of the same individuals discussed in both books: Hemingway, Gellhorn, and Capa
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When I first bought this book (based on reviews by BL friends) I couldn't wait to get started on it, but RL was busy at the time. In my excitement, I showed it to my mother-in-law, who promptly borrowed it. She returned it quickly, but the buzz had worn off and the book languished in my TBR for a couple of years.

I picked it up this week and happened to read the "other works" list in the front and saw that Mazzeo also wrote The Widow Clicquot, a book I started reading a couple of years ago and put back down because the florid writing was killing me. I almost put this book back in the pile after seeing that, but fortunately, I didn't.

Someone mentioned in their review that this narrative history read like a soap opera; I could definitely see some of that in a few of the chapters, but mostly what I got out of the book was that even amongst the very, very rich there were those that just wanted to get through it with little notice or involvement (Jean Cocteau), those that used the occupation to further their own ends (Coco Chanel), those that treated it as a game (Hemingway) and those who felt they were above it all (Arletty). Interspersed among the glitterati were those that were quietly fighting the good fight under everyone's noses.

But what struck me as slightly hyperbolic before I read the book, became clear by the end: an astounding amount of history originated or passed through the Hotel Ritz during World War II. Mazzeo writes an engrossing narrative describing the highlights (and low) in a structure that mostly makes sense and is easy to follow; a few times her backtracking left me flipping back pages to get back on the timeline, but overall it was a very easy, interesting and absorbing read.

This book certainly gave me an education: Hemingway's competitiveness, Chanel's anti-semitism and was-she/wasn't-she spy status, Edward and Wallis' fascism. But one story was the best: the story of Lieutenant Alexandre Rosenberg. I won't spoil it here, but wow... against astronomic odds... So. very. awesome.

I dinged it 1/2 star because there were some egregious copyediting errors, including one phrase repeated within a sentence. Lots of missing articles, and a few instances of excessive use of a single word in a paragraph or sentence. Really obvious stuff that should have been caught. The author also hints at further developments to be revealed later in the narrative but then never reveals them. (Mazzeo foreshadows that Laura Mae Corrigan faces trouble at the end of the war, after winning two medals for service, but then never mentions her again.)

Overall though, an excellent read; really interesting and one I'd not hesitate to recommend to someone interested in narrative histories. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 16, 2016 |
Review first published on BookLikes:
http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/825604/the-hotel-on-place-vendome

(This review is abridged and edited for GoodReads.)

If you are looking at this book, please don't be misguided by the cover and the publisher's blurb - the book does reveal a great deal on Paris during the German occupation but it does not exclusively focus on the personalities of Nazi generals. Rather it is the story of hotel Ritz from its first opening to its present day - but it is told using the stories of the people who used to live, visit, dine, and run the hotel.

It is a good story made even more remarkable by well researched insights into the Ritz family, Marcel Proust, the Dreyfusards, Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Georges Mandel, Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Capa, Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman, Jean Cocteau, Picasso, ... and a whole band of other personalities.

Of course, as promised by the dust jacket blurb, there is abundant information on the German occupation of Paris but the book also describes the sheer incredible situation of where employees of the hotel would use their position to pass information to the resistance or organise false passports.

What surprised me most about the book was that it was written in an engaging style where each chapter dealt with a different pairing or grouping of people to tell a story, but chapter by chapter, the stories interlinked. It is really clever writing. And I guess, it is this that made it difficult for me to put the book down.
( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
I loved this study of the hotel's clients over the decades. The place itself is the leading character and its use as the backdrop for history in the making was very effective. Several people have criticized the choppiness of the narrative and there are some jarring discontinuities. However, the story is too fascinating for this to spoil the book. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Jul 27, 2016 |
While the content was interesting, the structure of the book was too disorganized. Too much moving around in time, from famous person to famous person. ( )
  kelli413 | Apr 19, 2015 |
Mazzeo tells an interesting story with emphasis on the years around World War II. It seemed to me that she still had a lot of material left at the end and just appended it, and didn't really edit that material. Just a couple Google searches would have improved the book. She talks about Barbara Hutton, as the Woolworth 'drugstore' heiress. She was a Woolworth heiress, but Woolworth's was a five and dime. Was she thinking Walgreen's? She also states that Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in Key West. It was in Idaho. There was also some confusion about military ranks. On one page an individual is a Lieutenant Colonel, and then a few pages later he has been demoted to Lieutenant. Little editing things like these throw the whole story into question. It's a good story with lots of interesting characters, but if I had caught similar lapses of fact checking earlier in the book, I would have put it down as poorly written and edited popular history. ( )
  sloreck | Jun 9, 2014 |
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Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of World War II, The Hôtel on Place Vendôme is the captivating history of Paris's world-famous Hôtel Ritz--a breathtaking tale of glamour, opulence, and celebrity; dangerous liaisons, espionage, and resistance--from Tilar J. Manzeo, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot and The Secret of Chanel No. 5 When France fell to the Germans in June 1940, the legendary Hôtel Ritz on the Place Vendôme--an icon of Paris frequented by film stars and celebrity writers, American heiresses and risqué flappers, playboys, and princes--was the only luxury hotel of its kind allowed in the occupied city by order of Adolf Hitler. Tilar J. Mazzeo traces the history of this cultural landmark from its opening in fin de siècle Paris. At its center, The Hotel on Place Vendôme is an extraordinary chronicle of life at the Ritz during wartime, when the Hôtel was simultaneously headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, such as Reichsmarshal Hermann Göring, and home to exclusive patrons, including Coco Chanel. Mazzeo takes us into the grand palace's suites, bars, dining rooms, and wine cellars, revealing a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery. Rich in detail, illustrated with black-and-white photos, The Hotel on Place Vendôme is a remarkable look at this extraordinary crucible where the future of post-war France--and all of post-war Europe--was transformed. 

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