Celebrating his thirtieth birthday alone in Paris, Michael Whyte realizes that it is entirely possible to live an unglamorous life in the most glamorous of cities. Then, an unexpected gift of formal wear followed by a party invitation from his eccentric neighbors puts him in search of the first French franc-a coin said to be incredibly valuable and wickedly dangerous.
Guided by a deaf mute and mentored by an epistemologist, Michael careens across the city, from the Chateau de Vincennes to the Muse d'Orsay, from the sewers of Paris to the base of the Eiffel Tower, in his quest for the coin and for an answer to the question of its true nature.
Assisting, thwarting, or simply confusing him along the way is a bizarre collection of lunatic personalities including a Castilian hit man, a Zen Buddhist Swiss jeweler, a flatulent statue of Benjamin Franklin, a foul-mouthed rhinoceros, the Concierge from Hell, and an enigmatic beauty named Chione.
"Rue de la Pompe" is the first of four novels chronicling Michael Whyte's year in Paris.
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