Author(s): Karen Elizabeth Gordon
From the author of The Transitive Vampire comes an invitation to a strangely illuminated City of Light, Paris out of Hand. This seductively beautiful replica of a 19th-century travel book guides readers through the Paris that is, that might be, and that never was. Over 100 color and b&w illustrations.
To the immortal health of Karen Elizabeth Gordon's "Paris Out of Hand," the most entertaining nonfiction book I've read all year. Her delirium of prose stands out among the year's best fiction, too. . . The book -- cartwheeling over so many issues of design, color, art history, stand-up comedy and performance art that I must remind myself that it is a lo-and-behold book -- provides a mischievous, faux travelogue of a brightly imagined Paris. "Paris Out of Hand" is told and sung through fiction, fakery and the bold interplay of words and images. . . . Everything in her City by the Seine is surreal, magical, and possible: At the Hotel Helias, "Paris' answer to the Heartbreak Hotel," handkerchiefs are handed out with room keys; and chocolate, because of it's euphoric and erotic properties is strictly forbidden.
The sustained performance is one of grins and asides, in which the allusions to France, literature, the artists of the old Left Bank, come in buckets; one can sip and dip at leisure.