Literature / Paris Is Indeed Splendid
Paris Is Indeed Splendid
is currently available to read online at deviantart, in the gallery of blackcatmisfortunate.
Due to some noted differences in strategy during WW2 (such as not betraying the Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union and Japan not bombing Pearl Harbor), the Axis Powers won the war and the world has become a very different place. The plot focuses on the lives of several different people living in different countries (mostly Italy, Germany, and France) during this time, and how their relationships develop and grow through the course of the novel
While there are Loads and Loads of Characters
, the focus is mostly centered on the lives of Dieter Hermann, a German military police officer who was deployed to a military base in Italy; Angela Romano, a cross-dressing Italian priest and twin sister to the leader of The Resistance
; and Melchioras Vidoskas, a Lithuanian manservant working in Russia. Other key characters include Dieter's fiance Rosie Eckhart
and his brother, Jaeger Hermann; Angela's brother Angelo Romano; Melchioras's boss, Vladeslav Sokolov
; French cafe owner Jean Francis Lafayette and his American employee, James Cook; English refugee Alicen White; and Polish vagabond Feliks Pudimat.
Paris Is Indeed Splendid provides examples of:
- A Nazi by Any Other Name / All Germans Are Nazis: Almost any German by default, though Dieter mostly just wants to be a good officer and make his family proud; contrast with his younger brother, who just likes torturing/killing people for the hell of it and considers Germans to be better than everyone else. Angelo prescribes to this ideology and uses it to brainwash Angela and everyone else.
- Action Girl: Alicen
- Anachronism Stew: Invoked purposefully to keep the exact year unknown, though the timeline at the beginning reveals that Hitler died in 1974. Modern cell phones exist, but there is no mention of computers, zeppelins exist and are essentially used as aerial cruise liners (though this is not stated in story), the Soviet Union still exists, etc.
- Anguished Declaration of Love / Aborted Declaration of Love: Angela to Dieter.
- Arranged Marriage: Dieter and Rosie; Natasha attempts to force one onto Vladeslav, and somewhat succeeds.
- The Atoner: Dieter for his entire country; later on, Vladeslav and James.
- Batman Gambit: While Angelo never expected that Angela would ever disobey him, the second she did he started working out a plan to not only know exactly where she was and who she was with at all times (by assigning other nuns and priests to watch her, then threatening her only confidant Benedetto), but then begins plotting how to assassinate the Fuhrer when he finds out that the German she made friends with is none other than the fiance of the Fuhrer's daughter, based on the assumption that she will continue to defy him. The one thing that he failed to take into account was that one of his nameless henchmen would tell Benedetto and he would then tell Angela about the plan before it could come to fruition... by five minutes. So it was mostly successful.
- Berserk Button: Most of the characters have at least one, most notably Vladeslav, and being German or even remotely construed as having feelings toward Angela will bring down Angelo's unholy wrath like nothing else.
- Break the Cutie: Melchioras and Angela qualify.
- Can't Have Sex, Ever / But I Would Really Enjoy It: A great deal of Vladeslav's mental instability is his family driving into him from an early age that homosexuality is evil and causes nothing but horrifying problems. It doesn't help that Melchioras is exactly his type.
- Brother–Sister Incest: Angelo's obsession with Angela, and the way he tries to (and does) control every aspect of her life, resembles an abusive relationship more than it does an overbearing family member. He's also the only person who has seen her naked and occasionally forces her to strip in front of him.
- Casual Kink: Vladeslav has a thing for male crossdressers, most likely as a result of his family's attempts to force him to be sexually attracted to women.
- Chastity Couple: Dieter and Angela, until she gives up being a nun.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Done halfway; Rosie always had a crush on Dieter but he never reciprocated.
- Christmas Episode: One chapter, appropriately titled "Holidays", focuses on different holiday traditions in Germany, Italy, France, and Russia.
- Consulting Mister Puppet: The 'good' and 'bad' voices in Vladeslav's head eventually inhabit the Cheburashka and Vinni Pukh respectively, causing him to talk to them.
- Converse with the Unconscious: Dieter to Angela after the failed assassination attempt.
- Dance of Romance: Averted in that this is how Natasha intends to marry Vladeslav off to a total stranger; played straight when that stranger is Melchioras in drag, who Vladeslav has feelings for.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- Dieter taking on four Nazis to help Angela, who he does not know and never intends to meet again at that point.
- Angela standing up to a mob of angry Italians to help Dieter even though she's terrified of Germans.
- Jaeger and Natasha are monsters from the second they appear.
- Angelo using Dieter and Angela's friendship to plan an assassination, then going through with it even though it means sacrificing Angela's life.
- Vladeslav's reaction to 'being forced to' punish Melchioras.
- Melchioras protecting Vladeslav from Natasha even after multiple beatings, and then essentially agreeing to marry him so that he won't be miserable for the rest of his life.
- Everyone Can See It: Possibly just out of paranoia, but almost immediately after Dieter and Angela meet, Angelo suspects that she may have feelings for him and this conviction only grows over time. Also, after Vladeslav returns Melchioras's cross, everyone can tell that Melchioras wants to forgive him but is refusing to do so out of stubbornness and not because he really believes Vladeslav to be evil.
- Famous Ancestor: General Hermann is so well known that Dieter's boss has a framed photograph of himself shaking hands with the General in his office.
- Foreign-Language Tirade: A few times by Angelo.
- French Jerk: Averted with Jean and Father Alexander.
- Freudian Excuse: Vladeslav and Jaeger.
- Happy Flashback: Bits of Dieter's and Melchioras's childhoods are shown this way; subverted with Vladeslav.
- Hates Baths: Justified with Angela as Angelo uses them as a form of humiliating punishment.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Dieter and Angela to an extent; Vladeslav is also much bigger than Melchioras and can easily pick him up with one hand.
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Melchioras, meet slutty maid outfit and wedding dress.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Done by both Angela and Rosie toward Dieter, subverted with Vladeslav toward Melchioras, though he's attempting to play it straight with... mixed results.
- Like Brother and Sister: How Dieter sees Rosie.
- Love Triangle: Rosie and Angela for Dieter; Jaeger and (unintentionally) Dieter for Rosie; James and Vladeslav for Melchioras, though James does not reciprocate.
- Marry for Love: To Rosie, the aforementioned Arranged Marriage is this. Later played straight with Dieter/Angela and Jean/Alicen.
- The Matchmaker: Jean.
- Maybe Ever After: Vladeslav and Melchioras.
- Meaningful Name: James Cook. Guess why he goes to Paris and what he ends up doing. Also Vladeslav's nickname for Melchioras, Antosha, means 'invaluable', which is what Melchioras ends up being to him.
- Mood-Swinger: Vladeslav and Angelo.
- Mood Whiplash: The happy Christmas episode is then followed by a chapter titled "Brutalities"; also some of the changes in points of view create this.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Dieter's outlook on the Third Reich, though he's well aware of the horrors his country has committed and is not the least bit proud of them.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Vow of celibacy aside, God help you if Angelo even so much as thinks you might have any but the purest thoughts about Angela, or any thoughts about Angela at all for that matter.
- Nazi Nobleman: General Hermann and Fuhrer Eckhart.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Melchioras is beaten and raped because of a comment that Feliks made.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Angelo assumes that Angela died in the assassination attempt and despite being an abusive bastard he regrets not getting to say anything of meaning to her beforehand.
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: It's heavily implied at the end of the book that Vladeslav and Melchioras will eventually get together despite the fact that Vladeslav raped Melchioras; the fact that Melchioras didn't entirely not enjoy it also causes him to realize that he has never actually had an interest in women and might be gay.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: A different work from this troper (that has yet to be written) that borrows from Paris Is Indeed Splendid's universe reveals that Feliks is actually a trickster god that knew exactly what he was doing the entire time, even when he appeared to be bumbling and making stupid mistakes — why he did it remains a mystery, but then again, tricksters don't need reasons.
- Not What It Looks Like: After Vladeslav and Melchioras's marriage, Natasha waits outside the guest room door to confirm that the marriage was consummated. They fake it to get her to go away without realizing that Feliks, who is hiding in the closet, didn't hear them agree to fake it. It doesn't end well for Melchioras when he 'innocently' brings it up again.
- Opposites Attract: Strict, by-the-book military officer Dieter and somewhat spontaneous, ever-hopeful Angela; also Vladeslav, who has been either isolated or tortured by his family for his entire life, and Melchioras, who deeply loves his family.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Played straight with Melchioras's cross and subverted with Angelo and Angela's crosses.
- Repeat What You Just Said: It didn't end well.
- Rescue Romance: How Dieter and Angela's friendship starts.
- Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Rosie and Angela respectively, though Dieter's family isn't hurting for money.
- Romantic False Lead: Rosie for Dieter, James for Melchioras.
- Runaway Fiancé: Entirely averted.
- Sanity Slippage: Vladeslav, on several occasions.
- Sexless Marriage: What Melchioras thought he was signing up for.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Though never unattractive, Angela is a lot prettier after she quits crossdressing and grows her hair out.
- Shout-Out: To A Kitten Named Woof, of all things, and the syringes found in the cellar are a Shout-Out to the author's other work, ALiCE.
- Shipper on Deck: Jean for Dieter/Angela, and Angela for Vladeslav/Melchioras (at least as friends.)
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Alicen to Jean.
- Spanner in the Works: Feliks.
- Sweet Tooth: Melchioras.
- The Trickster: Feliks, right down to cross-dressing.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Vladeslav
- Train-Station Goodbye: Melchioras and Feliks, non-romantically
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Rosie.
- Unwanted Harem: Natasha gives one to Vladeslav.
- Whip It Good: Vladeslav and Jaeger's weapon of choice, but only one enjoys it.
- Why Can't I Hate You?: Melchioras.