On the morning of her fifth birthday, Miki Suzuki’s aged grandfather gave her an unusual gift – the fragment of a story. The tale told of a magical realm where all the women were beautiful, dressed in the finest gowns, and where the men had the looks of movie stars. The trees were covered in ivory-white blossom all year round, and
everyone was joyful and proud. This place, young Miki learned,
was a city in far off Europe – a city called Paris.
Touching, exciting, lyrical and amusing, the adventures of a Japanese girl in Paris had my full attention from page one. I was reading the Kindle version and even the fact that there are an astounding 173 chapters didn’t stop me. Perfect for reading on portable devices, during those ‘grabbed’ moments of escapism, every chapter of Paris Syndrome has an appropriately haiku-like quality.
I could feel the innocent wonder of our heroine, Miki Suzuki, at her first sight of Paris. I shared her desire to complete the simple task she had promised for her grandfather, which is of course frustrated at every turn.
Tahir Shah has an engaging style, a convincing knowledge of Japanese culture and delights in breaking the ‘rules’ of novel writing. Coincidences and misunderstandings wittily keep up the pace and even the smallest characters are wonderfully observed. I particularly identified with the unlikely hero, Michi Kinjo, an erstwhile reporter prepared to do just about anything to have a desk by the window of his office at the Asahi Shimbun (Morning Sun) newspaper.
Paris Syndrome is a book you will happily re-read and still discover something I promise you won’t find anywhere else. Highly recommended!
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About the Author
Tahir Shah lives in Casablanca, Morocco, with his wife. The author of fifteen books, many of which chronicle his journeys through Africa, Asia and the Americas, they have appeared in thirty languages and in more than seventy editions. He says there is nothing so important as deciphering the hidden underbelly of the lands through which he travels. He also makes documentary films, which are shown worldwide on National Geographical Television and The History Channel. Find out more at Tahir’s website www.tahirshah.com/ and find him on Twitter @HumanStew.