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Audiobook performed by Paul MichaelRoth is a young German army corporal, assigned to Gestapo headquarters in occupied Paris so that he can use his flawless French as an interpreter during interrogations He s disturbed by the torture he witnesses, but fulfills his duty as a soldier, accurately translating the words if not the emotions expressed When not on duty, however, he slips away from his hotel billet, dons civilian clothes and walks the streets of Paris disguised as the Frenchman, Antoine Being out of uniform, by itself, is a punishable offense, but he crosses the line when he falls for Chantal, the daughter of a bookseller He does not reveal his true identity to her, and she hides her allegiance to the Resistance The reader knows that this star crossed relationship is bound to end badly, but the way in which Wallner reveals the story kept me in a delirious state of suspense Make no mistake this is NOT a hearts and flowers romantic escapade, but a gritty and serious novel full of hardship and heartache There are hints that they ve been found out, but then they are free to meet There are several close calls when I was sure that one or the other would be captured and or killed Because Roth works for the Gestapo he witnesses and knows the interrogation techniques employed, yet he seems not to remember those ploys when it s most important I found myself yelling at the CD player, It s a trick than once and sometimes I was right I love how Wallner develops Roth from a na ve, apolitical young man away from home, to a wily, cautious and determined man He may be beaten but he is not down On the other hand, I was disappointed in how little he developed the women in this story Chantal and Anna Rieleck Sostman a German woman who runs the Gestapo captain s office Despite this, however, I think the book merits five stars I was captivated from beginning to end and will be talking about it for weeks or months, I m sure Paul Michael does a fine job narrating the audiobook I don t speak French but his French sounded pretty good to me I was glad I had the text handy, however, because I needed to see the written words to puzzle out the French phrases His pacing was good and he was able to differentiate the characters sufficiently. A short, quick read of historical fiction that takes place in Occupied France during WWII The main character, Roth, is a German SS soldier who speaks perfect French and is assigned to work for the Gestapo as a translator during interrogations of captured French Resistance fighters As fate would have it, Roth meets the woman of his dreams but she is the daughter of a French bookshop owner and he keeps his identity as a German soldier a secret from her Already leading a dangerous double life to pursue his relationship, he is unaware that he is involved with a key member of the French Resistance In Michael Wallner s debut novel, the plot is somewhat predictable and formulaic, but it is nonetheless a good storyline that moves along with a brisk pace and really becomes engrossing during the second half of the novel There was a lot of detail in the description of historical events and political climate which helped drive the story in areas where overall character development was a bit lacking It seems evident that Mr Wallner has done extensive research on the subject material and shows great promise as an historical fiction writer Though I haven t read Wallner s second novel it is set during the Cold War in Moscow and sounds interesting. I read it some years ago, and remember that I enjoyed it I have it as paperback on my real shelf. Onvan April in Paris Nevisande Michael Wallner ISBN 385519141 ISBN13 9780385519144 Dar 248 Safhe Saal e Chap 2006 It is the middle of WWII in occupied France Michel Roth is really lucky that his skills as a translator have landed him a job in Gestapo headquarters in Paris instead of at the front He is the quiet sort who likes to stay just under the radar Michel has some friends among the staff but he is a bit of a loner when he decides he would like to explore this beautiful city He knows that if he strolls about in his military uniform he will be shunned by the Parisians, so he works on a plan He hides civilian clothes in a laundry bag, finds a deserted building where he can change and become Antoine.just a visitor to Paris Since his language skills are good , he assumes he can pass as French He finds a bookstore to explore and gets a glimpse of a beautiful young woman whose name he discovers his Chantal And now Michel knows he is going to be caught between two worlds Michel is totally fascinated by Chantal and he will use his native disguise to explore Paris and see if he can find his mystery woman These are perilous times and Michel knows he can be caught in difficult situations If he is caught by the French Resistance , he will be killed as a spy and if he is caught by his fellow Germans, he can be declared a traitor..and killed Author Wallner captures the nuances of Paris during WW II If you know your history you know that the invasion of France is literally just months away And it is easy to be caught up in this tale of romance in the midst of some horrible history It is a scary and yet charming story that you will enjoy. Not very challenging or thought provoking, but entertaining Entertaining in an improbable made for Hollywood love war story kind of way without the cheesy ending Think Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck The writing was slightly confusing and there was one short chapter I can t remember which that seemed disjointed The protagonist is described vaguely and just didn t seem fleshed out for lack of a better term I also had a problem with the idea that his French resistance love interest, Chantel, showed absolutely no interest in him a known enemy Nazi pig and then bang Her clothes are off and she s on top of him WTF No love story here, but something out of porn a topia instead and the name Chantel didn t help either. |READ E-PUB ⚔ April in Paris ⚔ Michael Wallner S Thrilling First Novel, Set In Occupied France During World War II, Movingly Recounts The Impossible Love Affair Between A German Soldier And A French Resistance FighterRoth, A Young Soldier In The SS And A Fluent French Translator, Works As An Interpreter During The Interrogation Of Resistance Fighters But While Off Duty, He Slips Away From His Fellow Officers, Changes Into Civilian Clothes, And Wanders Aimlessly Through Paris Disguised As His Alter Ego Antoine One Day He Is Drawn Into An Antiquarian Bookshop And Becomes Enchanted With The Bookseller S Beautiful Daughter, Chantal The Two Begin To Meet And Fall In Love Before Roth Has The Courage To Reveal His True Identity, Or The Time To Discover That Chantal Is Part Of The Resistance Written In An Elegant And Arresting Style, April In Paris Is An Engrossing Novel From A Promising New Talent See of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsApril In Paris is billed as a wartime love story, but it is a novel with surprisingly little romance between the two characters, Michael and Chantal Wallner instead shows how Michael s belief in his love for Chantal, a woman he barely knows, is actually fuelled by his love of his idea of himself as someone completely different from reality Michael is a bilingual Wehrmacht Corporal who finds himself working as a translator during SS interrogations His regular metamorphosis into French student Antoine is his escape from these daily scenes of brutality and I appreciated how Wallner depicts this duality in his personality As readers we get to see scenes of wartime Paris both from the German and the Parisian perspective which is interesting.I found April In Paris to be a very readable novel which I happily polished off in a couple of sittings The narrative isn t particularly unusual and, although it kept my interest throughout, I could usually guess the outline of where the story would go There are harrowing descriptions of torture, some of which I wish I could unread, so readers of a squeamish disposition might want to give this one a miss However, otherwise, April In Paris is a good addition to the WWII genre. Certainly, there have been a vast number of books on this subject, both fiction and nonfiction Honestly, because it is a heart breaking subject, I have often avoided novels of this type My interest was piqued in this case because April In Paris is written from a German point of view sympathetic to the Resistance It perhaps long overdue for the world to reexamine the events of WWII in light of the fact that every German soldier was not a devout Nazi Still, books and films that take this approach remain, for me at least, difficult to access I seem to feel, however irrationally, that they are untrustworthy, as if they are somehow alive and could turn on me And I dread trying explain to anyone how I m reading a book about how Nazi soldiers weren t really so bad after all.I think it is an interesting and somewhat troubling cultural fact that someone like me, born 30 years after the end of WWII, could still feel so conflicted over a book like April In Paris Perhaps the real value of this book is that by reading it, I have discovered something about myself as well as something about the world. I suppose the message of this book could be about being yourself but that doesn t work out too well for the Nazi corporal in this novel The Nazis tended to frown on that kind of thing I suppose it could be that life is short and we should enjoy it That might tend to explain why said corporal appears to sleep with whoever provides the invitation He s in a city he doesn t really belong to, working for people he doesn t really respect, doing a job he can t stomach He s trying to find himself and we re along for the ride.However, through most of the book, I felt like I was missing something, some details or conversations that happened elsewhere that would have explained a few things, but were left out It would have been nice to read them I felt as if the author were trying to make a big bang out of the ending but it fell flat.