I Never Saw Paris

Harry I. Freund

Carroll & Graf,  August 2007

On his way to a department store on 57th Street in Manhattan, 64-year-old businessman Irving Caldman is waiting at the intersection of Park Avenue with three other pedestrians when a driver, asleep at the wheel, jumps the curb and ends all their lives.

The next thing Irving knows, he is no longer preparing for a trip to Paris with his wife. Instead, he is watching four faces as they ascend, presumably to Heaven, on their way to be greeted by the angel Malakh. Accompanying Irving are an attractive personal shopper in her early fifties; a grandmother who works as a housekeeper nearby; a twenty-something gay man who is an interior decorator; and the drive, a candy store owner, widower, and concentration camp survivor.

Bound together for a week with Malakh before their souls will be allowed to move on for judgment, Irving and his fellow victims are all compelled to relate -- and at times narrate -- their life stories, in order to evaluate and justify their earthly existence. As their insecurities and deepest secrets are exposed -- as well as what lies beyond -- a surprising dilemma develops.

I Never Saw Paris is a funny, moving, and thought-provoking look at an improbable but, before long, somehow inevitable group -- finally able to see their lives anew.

hardcover | ISBN: 9780786720545 | Publication Date: August 2007

"Harry Freund brings an observant eye and a ready wit to his chronicles of a widower in late middle age who navigates his way through the dangerous shoals of loneliness and entrapment."
--Gloria Goldreich, author of Walking Home and Leah's Journey

"This book sparkles with emotion, humor, and truth. Harry Freund knows how to tell a story that will delight and engross both men and women."
--Francine Klagsbrun, author of The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day

"This senior version of Portnoy's Complaint will have readers laughing at the unspoken -- sexual experience after a 'certain age . . . "
--Library Journal (Starred Review)