Vintage 1954 (Paperback)

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Vintage 1954 By Antoine Laurain, Gallic Books (Translator) Cover Image
By Antoine Laurain, Gallic Books (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

When a resident of an old apartment building gets locked in the cellar that’s been in his family for generations, he celebrates his rescue by opening a bottle of 1954 Beaujolais nouveau with his new friends, a ceramics restorer, a bartender, and a tourist from Milwaukee(!). They have no idea that this batch of wine was touched by aliens, except the UFO-obsessed bartender has a clue, because his grandfather disappeared in 1978 after a similar fermented encounter. One sip and the next morning they are back in the Paris of 1954, which is only made a little confusing because Paris was in the middle of celebrating Heritage Days. How the heck are they going to get back?  And will they learn a little about themselves in the process? Laurain’s latest features a charming quartet of protagonists, a love story, some philosophical asides, and a number of Easter-egged extras drawn from 1950s French culture. You just have to accept the offbeat time travel theorizing, but having just read Jack Finney’s Time and Again, that’s just par for the genre.  In all, Vintage 1954 is positively grapey, which in my book means it’s a complete delight and a must-read for fans of The President’s Hat and The Red Notebook.

— Daniel Goldin

Antoine Laurain has penned another charmer, this time traipsing through the Paris of yesteryear. When an unlikely quartet unearths a cellar-hidden bottle of perhaps alien-infused wine that they tip in celebration, they wake up to find they’ve been transported more than fifty years into the past. There’s a bit of zany time-travel fun, a budding new love, and a cast of characters plucked from history who come alive again. Laurain toys a bit with one of his signature themes, the romance and possibility of lives unlived. The heart of the novel, though, is a love letter to the Paris of the past, to which the book will happily ferry you.

— Chris Lee


From the author of The Red Notebook, described as 'Parisian perfection' by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Vintage 1954 is a nostalgic tale of time travel.

'A glorious time-slip caper... Just wonderful' Daily Mail

When Hubert Larnaudie invites some fellow residents of his Parisian apartment building to drink an exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, he has no idea of its special properties.

The following morning, Hubert finds himself waking up in 1950s Paris, as do antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien, and Airbnb tenant Bob from Milwaukee, who's on his first trip to Europe. After their initial shock, the city of Edith Piaf and An American in Paris begins to work its charm on them. The four delight in getting to know the French capital during this iconic period, whilst also playing with the possibilities that time travel allows.

But, ultimately, they need to work out how to get back to 2017, and time is of the essence...

About the Author

Antoine Laurain is the award-winning author of nine novels including The Red Notebook (Indie Next, MIBA bestseller) and The President's Hat (Waterstones Book Club, Indies Introduce). His books have been translated into 25 languages and sold more than 200,000 copies in English. He lives in Paris. Emily Boyce is a translator and editor. She was shortlisted for the French Book Office New Talent in Translation Award in 2008, the French-American Translation Prize in 2016, and the Scott Moncrieff Prize in 2021. She lives in London. Jane Aitken is a publisher and translator from the French.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781910477670
ISBN-10: 1910477672
Publisher: Gallic Books
Publication Date: June 18th, 2019
Pages: 208
Language: English