Tuesday, November 1, 2016

G769 Paris Nights my year at the Moulin Rouge

Title of the book: Paris Nights my year at the Moulin Rouge

Author: Cliff Simon, Loren Stephens

Publisher: Waldorf Publishing

Publishing Date: 2016

ISBN: 978-19438492-8


Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge opens with a bored twenty six year old Cliff Simon staring out at the ocean from his beachfront house, wishing he was somewhere else. Gavin Mills telephones him from Paris inviting him to join him at the iconic Moulin Rouge. Cliff sells everything he owns, leaving Johannesburg, South Africa for the City of Lights. He learns that his spot at the Moulin is not guaranteed, and is forced to audition. Making the grade, "he is put into can can" school before he is allowed into the company. His adrenaline is pumping from excitement and fear, both of which he has faced before. Taking a look back we see twelve year old Cliff helming a racing dinghy in the midst of a thunderstorm on the Vaal River. His father yells at him not to be a sissy, and he brings the boat back to shore alone. We then travel to London with his family escaping the tumult of Apartheid. He trains for the Olympics, but drops out, enrolling in the South African military where he subjected to harsh treatment and name calling - Fokken Jood. After a honorable discharge, he works in cabaret at seaside resorts, and is recruited as a gymnast in a cabaret, where he realizes that the stage is his destiny. The memoir fast forwards to Cliff's meteoric rise at the Moulin from swing dancer to principal in "Formidable." Off stage he gets into fights with street thugs, hangs out with diamond smugglers, and has his pick of gorgeous women. With a year at the Moulin to his credit, doors open for him internationally and back in South Africa. He earns a starring role in "Egoli: Place of Gold," and marries his long-time girlfriend, Colette. On their honeymoon to Paris, Cliff says, "Merci Paris for the best year of my life."

Author Info:
(From France Book Tours)


Paris Nights Cliff Simon

Cliff Simon
is a well-known television actor,
born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He appeared for 7 seasons on the sci-fi thriller,
Stargate as the evil Ba’al.
Some of his recent appearances
have been on CSI, 24,
the Americans, and in the film, Project Eden.
Paris Nights Loren StephensLoren Stephens
has been twice nominated for
the Pushcart Prize for the Best American Short Story,
and her essays and short stories
have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,
the Chicago Tribune, Peregrine,
the Montreal Review, to name a few.
Her novel “All Sorrows Can Be Borne,” set in Japan will be published in 2017.
Visit Cliff’s website and his fan page
Follow Cliff Simon: FacebookTwitter
Visit Loren’s website: Write Wisdom
Follow Loren Stephens: Facebook
Follow Waldorf Publishing on Twitter | on Facebook
Buy the book:  Amazon | Indiebound Barnes & Noble | Target 

Personal Opinion:

I'm sorry, but I didn't really get into the story as I should have. I have never been to Paris, although like others I heard plenty about Moulin Rouge and am curious about it. The memoir explores and decodes behind-the-scenes of late 1980s of Moulin Rouge and what it is like working there, which I've liked. However, the big negative in the story is the writing which falls more on tell rather than show. Although its a memoir, I didn't feel as if I got into or even understood Cliff Simon's personality and motivations. Even if fictionalized, I think I would have preferred to see the author more in the thick of things rather than just merely describing what has happened. What is also a bonus is the story of South Africa and of seeing what it is like being a religious minority in there.

This is for France Book Tours

Monday, October 24Review at Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, October 25Review + Giveaway by Denise
Wednesday, October 26Review by Risa
and also on The Next Chapter,
her brand newest blog
Thursday, October 27Review + Giveaway at ExUrbanis
Friday, October 28Review + Excerpt  + Giveaway at
Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile
Sunday, October 30Review by Andrea
Monday, October 31Review + Giveaway by Selina
Tuesday, November 1stReview at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, November 2Spotlight + Giveaway at Words And Peace

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


  1. thanks for your honest review. I liked how you showed what was good, and what you thought could have been written in a better way for you. Emma at FBT

  2. Thanks for reading

  3. It's a shame you didn't enjoy the book as much as you'd like. But hopefully it was interesting and informative to learn about Moulin Rouge in the 1980s.


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