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Paris Cafe: The Select Crowd [Paperback]

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Item description for Paris Cafe: The Select Crowd by Noel Riley Fitch & Rick Tulka...

Acclaimed author Noël Riley Fitch, abetted by noted artist Rick Tulka, serves the dish on Select, the famous Montparnasse café that for nearly nine decades has been so vital to Paris and its intellectual denizens: from Hemingway, Beauvoir, Picasso, James Baldwin, and George Plimpton to the writers and artists who continue to work quietly there in the back room or heatedly debate every topic imaginable into the night. The artists have their work on the walls; the novelists include the café setting in their fiction. The quiet and drama of the Sélect world illustrates the centrality of cafés — particularly this one — to Parisian social, cultural, and intellectual life. Blending pithy profiles and witty drawings of clientele and staff, the book is organized around a history of the café, its daily and seasonal rhythms, particular colorful patrons, and even its typical café/brasserie food (including a few recipes).

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Item Specifications...

Pages   122
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 28, 2007
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368853  
ISBN13  9781933368856  

Availability  0 units.

More About Noel Riley Fitch & Rick Tulka

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Noel Riley Fitch, author of the critically acclaimed Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation and The Literary Cafes of Paris, is a lecturer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and teachers summers at the American University in Paris.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Travel Writing
2Books > Subjects > Travel > Europe > France > General
3Books > Subjects > Travel > Europe > France > Paris
4Books > Subjects > Travel > Europe > General
5Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Food & Lodging > Dining

Reviews - What do customers think about Paris Cafe: The Select Crowd?

An inviting, real-life look at a legendary place  May 8, 2008
Author of a number of histories of literary Paris, as well as a study of Europe's "literary cafés," Noël Riley Fitch now does the trend of Americans writing about their favorite Parisian neighborhood one better by giving us a warm and charming portrait of her favorite Parisian café, Montparnasse's Le Sélect. Accompanied by wonderful illustrations (or, as the cover says, just "drawings") by Rick Tulka, this short book is an experience to savor, much like a trip to the café itself would be.

I've read a number of books over the last few months about Paris cafés, as my vicarious substitute for actually being in one. There's a great variety of such books, all trying in their own way to capture some of the ineffable (and perhaps exaggerated?) romantic charm of Parisian café-dom. Some are glossy photo albums, portraying cafés, brasseries, and restaurants in all their visual diversity. Others focus on the history of various cafés and their neighborhoods, while still others give us recipes designed to recreate café flavors and smells in our own homes. But "Paris Café: The Sélect Crowd" is the first such book I've seen that really takes a close, personal look at an author's own chosen café (in this case, one she shares with her illustrator). I found it a remarkably successful effort, and I feel like were I to visit Le Sélect someday, it wouldn't feel entirely foreign to me.

If I could improve anything, I might wish for more discussion of the people depicted in Tulka's evocative portraits, though there may not have been a way to do that while still respecting their privacy -- Le Sélect is, after all, a neighborhood institution. I also didn't particularly care for the odd covers and binding Soft Skull Press chose to clad this thing in: the cover is uniformly a quarter-inch wider than the pages inside, which made this somewhat awkward to hold. Besides that one wish and one complaint, however, this short book was a fine way to spend a few hours. I hope other authors rise to the challenge and produce similar looks at their own chosen café haunts.
Pull up a chair to a Select Cafe table in Paris..  Mar 31, 2008
The moment you open PARIS CAFES, you're transported to one of the most prestigious and traditional cafes in all Paris. Le Select is unchanged and unadulterated, still serving the same food by the same waiters and run by the same owner.
Turning the pages generates that special "je ne sait quoi" ambience that we all think of as Paris.
And Rick Tulka's drawings capture the subtle Parisien look, the Parisien style and humor impossible to experience in any other city in the world. Cafes exist everywhere, but none of them feels quite like sitting in a cafe in Paris. That's the special fun of reading PARIS CAFES.
Paris Cafe - a wonderful, accurate and enjoyable read!  Mar 8, 2008
When I learned my cousin had illustrated a book written on a Paris Cafe, Le Select, I thought, "How nice. I'll have to get a couple copies to take with me so I can get his autograph!" I really didn't intend, necessarily, to read it...
Well I got the book and started flipping through and then was just lured right in and read the whole thing in a rather brief period and enjoyed every minute! What a pleasant and illuminating book! And the illustrations are out of this world! To be expected from this seasoned MAD caricaturist.
Whether or not you are going to Paris, this is a must read if you, not only love Paris and, but also want to get a true understanding of the significance of the Paris Cafe!
Cafe All the Way  Jan 18, 2008
Fitch's etched words and Tulka's loving illustrations provide a no-hassle jet to Paris and one of its treasures. This is an account to be sipped, savored and saved. Le Select's bracing aroma and eye-pleasing sights permeate every page of the francophiles' extended love letter.

Those who've roosted there over a cup of coffee or tingled after a wine will re-experience their warm pleasure; those who've yet to make it to Le Select will find a delicious foretaste of Paris at its best.

A votre sante!

elegant drawings  Jan 7, 2008
Worth buying for the elegant b/w drawings alone. Tulka's caricatures magnificently capture the essence of every individual depicted... as you look at each page you feel that you are actually sitting with him observing the staff and patrons. A great book for artists, people-watchers and Francophiles.

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