Troubador Taxi Tales from Paris

Released: 28/01/2020

ISBN: 9781838592370

eISBN: 9781838597207

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Taxi Tales from Paris


“A collection of exchanges - as surprising as they are interesting - between British author Nicky Gentil and some of the cabdrivers who have crossed her path. You will have a great time reading this book!”
Taxi G7 Magazine, Paris

Taxi Tales From Paris is not your typical account of what happens when you move to another country. Nicky Gentil’s memoir offers the reader a truly original insight into life in the French capital because, as the title suggests, everything is seen through the prism of her most memorable taxi rides taken during the thirty years she has lived there. 

Hugely entertaining, with some delightful comic touches, Gentil’s tales cover a wide variety of subjects such as her love of her adoptive country, the cultural differences she frequently encounters, the joys of parenthood, or indeed her ever-present passion for jazz, to quote but a few examples.  

By the end of this book, as with any memoir set in the City of Light, you will immediately want to leap on board the next Eurostar going but, on this occasion, with one very specific aim in mind: to jump – upon arriving in Paris – into the very first taxi you see! 

One of the many things I love about publishing a book is the subsequent trip it takes you on, as if the book itself begins to write its own story. All sorts of wonderful things happen such as my waking up one morning this week to receive this amazing message: "Thank you for sharing your experiences. This is a valuable piece of literature for us piano technicians." These comments came from an American piano tuner who is currently reviewing my book for the Piano Technicians Journal.

In France, the 21st June is National Music Day (Fete de la Musique) and, to celebrate it, I shall be playing jazz and giving a talk on my book in WH Smiths of Paris, located just near the majestic Place de la Concorde. When first I moved to Paris, some thirty years ago, this shop was my regular source of English books and newspapers. Never in a million years, though, would I have thought, back then, that one day I might actually find myself presenting my own book there! But as I said, publishing a book seems to be but the mere beginning of one truly exciting trip and book presentations are all part of it!!

On 23rd November, I shall be giving a talk on my book and bringing some of the scenes to life on the piano at the Nantwich bookshop in the town where I grew up. It's really quite amazing to be going back there in my capacity as an author!


Taxi Point

Paris Voice

Hello? Taxi tales from Paris; isn't this a tad remote; thought I? How wrong I was. Nicky Gentil weaves a beautiful picture of humanity in the raw. She draws the reader into her tales; which portray all of life's foibles and absurdities.

This is a very poignant and emotional book; mixed with a generous dose of joy and wonder. There are tales with a Psychology twist, (English and French). A travelogue; a witty update on previous encounters; and an all-round tour through the very essence of Paris; through the eyes of a newbie who came to stay.

Now I am eager for book 3 and I really really need to hear her play some Jazz.........................................

by Paul Jenkins

This was an incredibly quick read with stories I enjoyed from a place I hold dear in my heart. I don't think i ever rode in a Taxi the one time I was in Paris, but maybe I will if I ever go back. I thought the essarys were delightful and the books was a fun little pick me up.

by Cristi

I enjoyed reading this book. It was funny. Interesting and a good lift you up book. It’s full of the insight of the taxi driver. As you can imagine they have all sorts in their car.

by Lisa

What a wonderful bright and positive book to end my reading with in 2019.
Taxi Tales from Paris is a simple title that sums up the notion of this collection of journeys and incidents while travelling around Paris by cab. What it doesn’t reveal however, is the literary charm and skill the author utilises to share her experiences.
You know a nice person just doesn’t wake up each morning and follows on another day in their life. You sense reading this book, in no time at all that Nicky Gentil is a special person. Full of compassion, life and empathy.
This is a life affirming account of the adoptive city she calls home. It is some of the recollections of times spent in a taxi, the reasons for those trips and the conversations that arose in those times.
I found the insights into the character and life-changing incidents from the author’s life inspirational. She has many reasons to be crusty and at odds with life based on her own struggles. Yet this does not cloud her narrative, which is one of hope and optimism.
A short book that gives a lift and promotes the attitude of making the most of each day.

by Richard

So entertaining I’ve ridden in taxis in Paris and have found the drivers to be interesting opinionated.Wish this book full of characters had been longer really enjoyed

by Abby

This is a delightful collection of short stories. It is all Paris taxi stories. Although easy to read in one setting, I wanted it to last longer. The author is both a keen observer and a good listener, and we are the fortunate recipients!

by Marsha

An absolutely delightful book of short tales of Gentil's encounters with taxi drivers throughout her many years in Paris. I loved this warm-hearted, engaging book.

by Janet

This may be a short book but if you are looking for an uplifting read and you have a love of Paris then I would certainly recommend this. This is a collection of short stories by Nicky Gentil who moved to Paris to begin her career as a translator in 1988 and has lived there ever since. With her love of Paris and her performing piano jazz in public , she has an interesting backstory and here she provides an insight and a perception of another land through the medium of exchanges that have taken place in the back of Parisian taxis.

Some tales are comic, while others are profound and unsettling but unlike my own experiences in the back of London black cabs, they are all most memorable. Of course what you will find here is essentially a view from someone living in a central affluent area of central Paris and this is a million miles from life in the outlying banlieues. Putting this to one side, the book nevertheless represents a portrait of a City with all its cultural and culinary delights.

by G

This is an easy breezy collection of anecdotes from the author's life - it is interesting how she has loosely fashioned a thread of taxi conversations with her observations of people and her own life experiences. The author's love for Paris shines through and its a great quick read for any francophile.

by Divya

Fun and quirky book about meeting with Paris taxi drivers and the anecdotes resulting from them. Gives a slice of Parisian flavor rarely seen in other books about the French capital and kinda restores your faith in humanity reading the way these drivers - perfect strangers - look out for their passengers and really seem to want to do right by them.
I would have preferred a bit more about actual taxi rides and less of the 'life' surrounding them (which ultimately made the taxi rides' anecdotes about fifty percent or just slightly more of the actual book), but on the whole, a good, quick read that does bring a smile to your face

by Zee

This is a quick read that was well written and fun to read. I love books like this simply for the personal touch and relatability. The fact that it’s set in France makes it that much more fun and quirky.

by Stacey

A lovely little book of stories from meetings with taxi drivers. The author clearly loves Paris you can tell on every page and the stories are lovely.
Nice easy light read and really fun.

by Lucy

A light, quick read showcasing the author's experiences with Paris taxi drivers. These are very short anecdotes of maybe a page or two each. Great for when you have a couple of minutes to kill.

by Gena

I enjoyed every page of this fast, fun and at times funny read. Loved how the author made you feel like you were in the cabs with her. Highly recommend this book to anyone who’s ridden in a cab or who’s been to Paris..

by Megan

Most Enjoyable....
A delightful collection of short tales taken from taxi rides in the French capital. Entertaining, enlightening and amusing written with a lightness of touch and an empathetic tone. Most enjoyable.

by Ruth

You don't have to know or love Paris to like this collection, which is a pretty quick read. It's a nice personal take on the author's experiences, and give you a little flavor of Paris while also being entertaining.

by Paul

A quick easy read of a taxi drivers tales of the people she has met along the way. If you’re looking for something you don’t have to think too much about - this is it!

by Georgia

Nicky Gentil

In 1988, fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in French and German, Nicky Gentil moved to Paris to pursue a career in translation.

Some twenty years later - having acquired a husband and two children along the way! - she took up jazz improvisation on the piano, rapidly discovering a great passion for it, so much so that, in 2016, she published a book on the subject. Her first published work, LA JAZZ-GIRL PASSIONNEE ET SON DEVOUE ACCORDEUR (Editions Beaurepaire), is a light-hearted, feel-good account of her unexpected road to jazz.

The book received an overwhelmingly positive response at France's 2016 EuroPiano Congress. Consequently, at the suggestion of the English-speaking attendees and in light of numerous requests from family and friends in the UK, she translated her work into English. It was published in March 2018 under the title THE JAZZ-GIRL, THE PIANO, AND THE DEDICATED TUNER (Matador Publishing).

In October of that same year, she also published PETITS DIALOGUES EN TAXI (Editions Beaurepaire) - a collection of around thirty tales recounting some of her more memorable cab rides since moving to France - in celebration of her thirtieth anniversary in the capital.

TAXI TALES FROM PARIS is the English version of that work.

Today, Nicky Gentil divides her time between her writing, translating her writing and her various musical activities.

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