Swapping his native San Francisco for the City of Light, travel writer David Downie arrived in Paris in 1986 on a one-way ticket, his head full of romantic notions. Curiosity and the legs of a cross-country runner propelled him daily from an unheated, seventh-floor walk-up garret near the Champs-Élysées to the old Montmartre haunts of the doomed painter Modigliani, the tombs of Père-Lachaise cemetery, the luxuriant alleys of the Luxembourg Gardens, and the aristocratic Île Saint-Louis midstream in the Seine.
Downie wound up living in the chic Marais district, married to the Paris-born American photographer Alison Harris, an equally incurable walker and chronicler. Ten books and a quarter-century later, he still spends several hours every day rambling through Paris and writing about the city he loves. An irreverent, witty romp featuring thirty-one short prose sketches of people, places, and daily life, Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light ranges from the glamorous to the least-known corners and characters of the world's favorite city.
©2011 David Downie (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
It is among the best.
A combination of personal memoir by someone who has lived in and loved Paris for years and well-researched information about the city, It is much more satisfying and interesting than a conventional guidebook. I will listen to it again before my next trip, as I didn't have time to get to most of the very interesting places he talked about.
It was natural and easy to listen to.
This might be a book that's better read. I'd rather go to Paris myself. Didn't do it for me. But maybe I will dip into it again.
There's some good information here but the writer's pretensions- mocking the people who bring gentrification (of whom he is one) and detesting contemporary architecture -- get tedious. Also, he repeated himself constantly.
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