Flâneuse by Lauren Elkin

Flâneuse by Lauren Elkin

This is one of the most disappointing and most misleading books I have read in a very long time. Actually, I don’t think I have ever been so mislead by a book before. The full title is 

Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London but very little of the book is actually about the art of walking. Really, this book is a history of several women writer’s lives of the past with a mishmash of topics thrown in between them, including but not limited to: immigration, feminism, writing, protests, marching, travel, and romantic relationships. There was even a section that had page after page of a detailed retelling of a movie. WHY???

There is a ton of quoting the featured women’s books or book about them and most of it is regarding the rights and freedoms (or lack thereof) of women in the particular decade that they came from.

What I wanted going into this book – a first-person view of “flâneusing” – we actually got very little of. There are a few paragraphs of the author’s time spent in Paris or Venice that I quite enjoyed but 90% of the book was page after page of history and information about these women and none of it has anything to do with FLANEUR. Not only was it not about the flâneur, what it is comprised of is such a mishmash it’s hard to make sense of anything. 

2/5 Stars (I have given it 2 stars because I did enjoy what few words there were on the title topic)

I was given a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.