‘An utterly enjoyable voyage under Paris’ – Christopher Howse, THE OLDIE
Andrew Martin has been described as ‘the laureate of railways’, having written many books with railway themes. But Andrew has always been obsessed with the Paris Metro, hence Metropolitain: An Ode to the Paris Metro, the first English history of the Metro for the general reader.
Metropolitain is as stylish as the Metro itself and laced with cultural references. Andrew explains why Last Tango in Paris is a great Metro film, and what the Metro chase scene in the classic thriller, Le Samourai, says about Parisian culture. He describes how he came to appreciate the beauty of Guimard’s sinuous green Metro entrances when he bought a lily of the valley and observed it flowering on his desk. We meet Andrew’s half-English, half-French friend, Julian, who runs a society dedicated to Metro history. He tells Andrew, ‘A Metro station is like the wine cellar of chateau, which is a very nice thing to be reminded of.’
The book takes the reader on a constant tour of Paris, both underground and over. But Paris, and the Metro, is changing, undergoing a huge expansion. This, and the imminence of the Paris Olympics, make this a timely title.