When reviews start to come in for one’s latest book, the tendency is to wince and expect the worst. So far, with Paris Escpade, I have been pleasantly surprised. The reviews I’ve received so far are all extremely positive. Of course, it’s early yet, but I wanted to reprint the ones that have been published so far:
Myers’s opening line – “Even before we got on the plane, I was planning my getaway.” – defines this amazing novel. We know the viewpoint (1st person), the theme (v Self), the setting (modern…ish. A plane is mentioned), and the mood (the passive voice shows disdain, contempt).
That one line is the entire opening paragraph. The second paragraph gives you all the backstory you need and the third (and still on the first page) provides a delicious overdose of the character. I write “delicious overdose” because it’s completely over the top and so in the narrator’s tone, voice, and style that I laughed out loud (and this character read the same books I did? Wow!).
And the best part? Pay attention to that third paragraph and you have the entire, wonderful novel laid out for you.
Go for it!
(and fwiw, I found much of this book to be a future anthropologist’s/archaeologist’s goldmine, literally a guidebook to a time and place I remember well and nostalgically (much like Terry Melia’s Tales from the Greenhills )
Novel as entertainment. An absorbing series of mishaps. A bildungsroman that appeals to an escapist audience. T. M. Has the ability to put you right in the action. And I was not bored for a single page.
It reads fast, goes down smooth, and definitely radiates authenticity. The city of Paris (and other locales) feels lived in. Through the author’s mesmeric storytelling, I felt transported across several European countries. The cheeky first person narrator is young, naive, but intelligent and full of potential, towing overblown notions, and a perpetual novel-in-progress-cum-memoir. The adventure is an exercise in nostalgia for the 60s, and is infused with cool detachment. Also, simultaneously a comment and an homage to ex-pat Narcissistic literature.
Charming, witty, intrigued by every passing looker, our prototypical writer-narrator is surprising, and quick to decide on the next step in his self-directed destiny.
With convincing realism, including plenty of French phrases, with proper context to aid the reader’s understanding, a very detailed backdrop is set constantly in motion by the shifting fortunes of the main character. Tense urgency accompanies every scene, from the clash with pseudo intellectuals, amid the cultural innuendoes and the spectacle that always arises from Americans setting foot in Europe, to the hormone-fueled tangled plot wrapped up in crimes and prostitution.
The times I have spent in Europe made me wish I could stay, could run away and forge some alternate reality for myself. Yet, I see the sights, devour the food, and leave, always vowing to return. This book is the next best thing to taking a vacation, and acting on a few of those impulses. It was great fun to gallivant around Paris and the other gorgeous cities, to hang out with this eclectic crowd and mingle for a while with the vanished past.
From Gail Kaufman (5 Stars, Reedsy Discovery)
Myers’ ability to limn each scene so that you feel you are there and inside the head of the protagonist is remarkable.
This coming-of-age story surpassed my expectations. Written in the first person, I was immediately drawn into the escapades of a 17-year-old boy, Eddie Strull. It was as if I were reading a memoir, not a novel. When the story begins, Eddie has already planned his escape from New York via a supervised teen trip to Europe before venturing out on his own in Paris. The author weaves in real-life historic events, landmarks and tourist destinations. The book underscores the inevitability that we pay dues for the consequences of our actions. How we reconcile that reveals who we are.
“It’s not for me to forgive you Eddie. You have to forgive yourself.”
Early on, we learn about Eddie’s frustration with the hebetude of his life and his longing to be a writer. We know his plan. But we cannot anticipate the events that unfold as he befriends unique characters, falls in love, takes risks and perseveres on his mission. He makes decisions out of desperation and fear, ultimately making him a fugitive of the law. As he tenaciously and fortuitously continues to escape danger, the pages of this book turn swiftly. As Eddie stumbled from one multifarious situation to another, I wanted to catch him before he fell.
The ending threw me for a loop. I never saw it coming. It’s not the ending I was hoping for, and I am left with unanswered questions. I didn’t want to let Eddie go just yet, which is what makes the author’s style so appealing. The book is well-edited and a great read for all fans of coming-of-age novels. I think the story is particularly relatable to people familiar with a New York/Jewish background in the 50s and 60s who fantasized about or lived through the youthful backpack-through-Europe experience. This story takes you on that expedition albeit with many twists and turns.
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) on Reedsy Discovery.
Also posted on Reedsy Discovery.
From Edith Wairimu (5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite)
Paris Escapade by Ted Myers is an engrossing young adult novel that follows a teenager’s adventures in Paris and other parts of Europe. Eddie Strull, a Jewish teenager, is given a six-week camping trip in Europe by his parents for graduating high school. Eddie, who had always longed to free himself from the clutches of his parents’ authority, escapes from the group he is touring with and decides to build a life of his own in Paris. He falls in love with Martisse, a prostitute based in the French capital, who leads him into a deadly drug-related scheme and other dangerous events. Eddie spends time trying to evade the authorities across Europe until he decides to face his fate. As each adventure unfolds, Eddie begins to discover that maybe adulthood is not what he assumed it to be.
Unable to sit still and wait for things to happen, Eddie impatiently moves fast from one adventure to the next. His restlessness makes his story even more captivating. Told from Eddie’s perspective, Paris Escapade by Ted Myers offers extensive details of its main character. I also loved that other characters were compelling and had fascinating backgrounds. Their portrayal in the story is also realistic and the events that happen, though surprising and sometimes shocking, still feel believable. Set in 1960s Europe and the U. S., the novel also incorporates interesting details and events associated with the era. Many scenes are hilarious and they enliven the story. Paris Escapade by Ted Myers is a fast-paced novel that features exciting events and interesting characters.
From Eileen Jennifer (5 Stars on Goodreads)
A great read! Ted Myers delivers a sensitive coming-of-age tale with plenty of plot twists and fascinating characters. Don’t expect a romantic romp, although romance is woven throughout the story; Myers is unflinching in allowing his characters to drive the plot forward, often with difficult outcomes. Paris Escapade is an engaging read which allows the reader an inside glimpse of the burgeoning 60s counter-culture, from someone who was there.
Some of my beta readers have been unable to post their reviews on Amazon for some unknown reason, but if you read and like Paris Escapade, please try to post a positive review on Amazon (and Goodreads, if you’re on there).