Search - The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged)

The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
The Paris Wife - Audio CD - Unabridged
Author: Paula McLain, Carrington MacDuffie (Narrator)
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. — Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness -- until she meets Ernest Hemin...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780307877185
ISBN-10: 0307877183
Publication Date: 2/22/2011
Edition: Unabridged
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 21 ratings
Publisher: Random House Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
It is not surprising that Nancy Horan enthusiastically endorses this book since it is remarkably similar to her book, Loving Frank, about Frank Lloyd Wright. Both FLW and Ernest Hemingway were driven to succeed at any cost, and both were amazingly oblivious to the needs of everyone in their lives.

Hadley Hemingway was a victim of her obsession with Ernest and lived in his shadow until he tired of her. It is difficult to feel empathy for someone who so willingly subjugated herself to her husband, and I was incredulous about what she endured at the end of their marriage when Pauline became the third member of their marriage.

The seemingly dissolute lifestyle of the generation of writers who lived in Paris during the 1920s was lamentable because their excesses took precedence over their literary talents. I found the recounting of these excesses eventually became tiresome, and I simply couldnt summon much interest in what happened to Ernest or Hadley. Although fictionalized, this book apparently is an accurate reflection of Hemingways first marriage
reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
It was difficult to read this book told from Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley's, experience. Hadley marries Hemingway after a hasty whirlwind courtship (he literally sweeps/dances her off her feet during her first visit to the "big city" of Chicago), but she starts off already counting her own disadvantages. Hadley suspects she's too old, too frumpy, too "dumb" (she is not a writer or artist like Hem and all his acquaintances) for him, and she pretty much puts herself into the defensive position of trying to "retain" Hemingway and keep on being his wife. Not good.

Since this is sort of historical fiction, most of us already know of Hemingway's macho character, his womanizing/drinking ways, and his depression (and ultimate suicide). This is no gentle recount of "Papa" Hemingway, nor is it a fluffy view of his marriage to Hadley. I am not familiar with Hadley nor Hemingway's first marriage but the author does posit that Hemingway did credit his fame (publishing "The Sun Also Rises") to her. To be honest, Hadley lucked out sort of because Hemingway gave her some slack (he mentions her as being the best thing that happened to him, etc... in his memoirs) because I don't feel Hadley would have had it in her to fight Hemingway with a messy divorce.

Worth a read to see the genesis of a lot of Hemingway's books. The bohemian, heavy drinking, partying, loving lifestyle of the Left Bank artists may seem unrealistic to some of us, but this book paints it quite vividly that it is a pleasure to read.
reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
At age 28, Hadley Richardson is not likely to get married. But she travels to Chicago and meets 21 year-old Ernest Hemingway. A courtship begins via letter, they eventually marry and then move to Paris so that Ernest can pursue focus on his writing.

This story is told from the point-of-view of Hadley, Hemingways first wife, and what their life in Paris during the 1920s was like. While in Paris, they meet and befriend Gertrude Stein and her lover, Alice Toklas, Ezra Pound and F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, among others.

Hemingway is fairly controlling but Hadley grew up with a controlling mother and had been living with her sister, who was like her mother and very controlling with her husband. Neither had happy marriages and Hadley did not want her marriage to be like either of theirs.

Hadley is supportive of Hemingway throughout the marriage and their life is Paris is not easy. They dont have a lot of money and Hemingway often has trouble writing. Then, Hadley becomes pregnant while they were on vacation and she had forgotten her birth control.

It would appear they will get through these struggles until Hadley befriends Pauline, a friend of one of Hadleys childhood friends who is in Paris. Pauline is the first of Hadleys friends that Ernest can tolerate and she starts to join the Hemingways at their home and on vacations. Until Hadley cannot handle the arrangement and demands a divorce.

I enjoyed this book. The writing is beautiful and the story is well-told.
reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Disappointing. I very likely won't finish it. Too much soap opera. I would have been happier with a historical treatment of the topic than a fictionalized account of the Hemingways' courtship and marriage. I didn't find the dialogue believable. Some have enjoyed this book, it just wasn't my cup of tea.
reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Yawn. Don't bother.
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reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 138 more book reviews
In 1921, 29 year-old Hadley Richardson married 22 year-old Ernest Hemingway. She followed him to Paris, where Hemingway began his writing career, and they joined the fast-living group of literary ex-patriots including Ezra Pound, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.

Primarily, I listened to the audio of this book, and frankly it took me several tries to get started on it. Usually I was in my car and was easily lured away to Sirius satellite radio instead. I think the main reason for this was the narrator though, as I found her voice a little whiny (others in my book club agreed about that).

As for the story itself, it never hooked me but I did enjoy it. About ten years ago I went to Key West on vacation and visited Hemingways house there. Although Ive never really liked his books, the man himself fascinates me. He was bigger than life. So as much as this book focused on Hadley, I was also looking for insight into what made Hemingway tick. And if this fictionalized tale is to be believed, I found plenty of that! This book humanized Hemingway for me.

This was a really great book for a book club it generated lots of discussion. Some members of my book club didnt like the book because they didnt like the character of Hadley and found her too wimpy. Others, including me, disagreed.
reviewed The Paris Wife (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 14 more book reviews
I listened to "The Paris Wife" on Audio CDs. The narrator had an irritating tone to her voice that I found distracting. She sounded like she should be reading a Stephanie Plum novel rather than this. I will give the narrator good marks for pronouncing to this untrained ear some multi-syllable French words.

I had just listened to "American Wife" by Curtis Sittenfeld which is a loosely realized story following a charachter similar to Laura Bush. Her husband is a lout and blustering person who becomes governor and later president because he has nothing better to do. What he really loves is baseball and being the owner of a baseball team. He and his overbearing family are concerned about his "legacy" and the wife, totally subsummed by her infactuation with him, allows herself to be bullied and undercut and fianlly betrayed by him...although through her own sense of loyalty to her man.

"The Paris Wife", although from a different era, follows a strikingly similar vein. Hadley falls for Hemingway in the same love-struck way that the American Wife does. Hadley and Hemingway are caught up in a group dynamic similar to the overbearing family of American Wife. Hadley and American Wife are bullied, undercut and betrayed all the while denying what is happening to them by men who have no empahty and are driven by their own sense of destiny.

All in all I found the characters in American Wife better written than Paris Wife; I had little sympathy for Hadley and the writing seemed to present her not as a character of her time but as a dupe to Hemingmway's longings. Paris Wife also failed as an historical set piece for which it had good potential. I came away wishing the writer had created a better environment for her characters to work out there post-war sense of loss and renewal.

Book Wiki

Common Title
Hadley Richardson Hemingway (Primary Character)
Ernest Hemingway (Primary Character)
Gertrude Stein (Average Character)
Alice Toklas (Average Character)