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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving expat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes.

When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the famously inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner, Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country - under baffling conditions - while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago and to truly make his home there.

©2017 David Lebovitz (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"This book is so entertaining and so deliciously told that I could just gobble it all up in one sitting. As always, David Lebovitz managed to draw me into his scrumptious universe with a million poignant observations and countless of laugh-out-loud moments." (Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Jerusalem, Plenty, and Sweet)
"David is an incredible storyteller, both in and out of the kitchen. I thoroughly enjoy the authenticity of life in a different country, where every day requires an adjustment and every event is a curve ball. But that's where the joy is: embracing life with a wonderful attitude, seeking exploration and novelty." (Gabriele Corcos, chef and author of the New York Times best seller Extra Virgin)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this author! Pastries and Plaster in Paris!

As always, David Lebowitz is so funny and self-deprecating, it's easy to miss what a fundamentally gifted writer he is. I loved the etymology of companion. Having been through a large home construction project, I know that it's incredibly difficult to retell your building woes with any sense of humor. This is an entertaining but also informative book that should be a must-read for anyone remodeling anywhere, not just France. Plus, there's a very satisfying recipe at the end of almost chapter. This would make a great movie--Mr. Blanding's Builds His Dream House meets a pastry chef in Paris.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

super fun read!

Would you listen to L'Appart again? Why?

I might when i visit Paris again to pick up a few tips

What did you like best about this story?

I love the personal details of his relationship

What about Graham Halstead’s performance did you like?

sounded like a real person, great French pronunciation

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

sure!

Any additional comments?

highly entertaining!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Delicious

Loved it, great and losing story with heartfelt English as well as delicious treats...thanks. France

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Paris Sans Delights

This book is a gift to francophiles who have fantasized of moving to Paris and know they never well because the author will make you feel relieved for avoiding that fate.

First and very important: The reader is top notch: genial, naturalistic, and able to speak the French terms and phrases correctly as far as my high school French expertise can detect.

But halfway through this story of a torturous renovation of a Parisian apartment, I realized I was listening to a truly miserable story masked by a pleasant narrator and well read recipes read at the end of each chapter and a few tossed off rueful wry comments as though it's all a humorous experience. But clearly it is not. Parisians appear grumpy, lacking in humor, perpetually in a state of annoyance and discomfort because of stores and institutions that make life as difficult as possible. Apart from the boulangeries and markets, who would want to be in this city? New York seems warm and fuzzy in comparison to his Paris.

Most of all it is plain as day that the contractor working on the apartment is a liar and a crook -- no spoiler alert needed since I came to this conclusion one third of the way in and so will you. Why did the author stay with him? It was almost like reading a battered wife's delusions: "But he told me it would be all right and I believed him again." And I have never read a book with so many deceitful, lazy characters that wasn't a thriller or mystery. So I was glad to say au revoir and will seek out other books read by this narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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delightful!

Would you listen to L'Appart again? Why?

just know....you are going to wind up buying the book! this was such a fun listen that I wanted to just make every recipe in the book...so...I'm buying the book to have. on my way home from work today I picked up the ingredients for three of the recipies and two pot de creme...because they were there and I was there...and they are French! david also cured me of any fantasy I might have had about wanting to live in Paris...I'll just continue to visit. my only issue with the book is the narration. it's perfectly fine...but it would have been so much better if david had done his own narration. I think a lot of the humor is lost in the straight forward telling of graham halstead, pun intended. david lebovitz, like david sedaris, has a voice that is full of sly wit...and that is missing. well....off to make chocolate dipped oatmeal cookies!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too little Paris, too much reno hell

The title says it all: The nightmare story of the author's expensive renovation "disaster"--replete with an astonishingly inept and irresponsible contractor/antagonist--overwhelmed any "delights" promised in the book's title. The meager recipes sprinkled through the book seemed desperate and incongruous and did little in the end to compensate for the dust, disappointment, and chaos.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Pretty basic

I was hoping for more than his visions of flaky croissants and colanders of radishes in his farmhouse kitchen sink. Don’t we all envision that? He is a professional chef ... just thought he’d take it up a notch. References to his relationship with his partner were especially filled with cliches: “He’s a keeper!” Still, I did listen to the end.

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For anyone who has had the dream

Have you dreamt of moving to Paris and living the ex-pat life? I have/do. I think that is why I loved this so much. Not because this book made it sound easy but because this book spoke about every blunder and thing that can go wrong. Seriously, this book is a narration of a multiple year process to buy a Paris apartment but with lively little recipes to end each chapter. If you love following David, you’ll love this story too.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Listening to recipes is dull

Don't get me wrong, this is a good story, and I'm enjoying the adventure of buying the apartment. But the recipes are a drag. I bet they're great in the book, but driving down the highway listening to 2tbps of this, 2 cups of that, is numbing. Others have noted that after listening to the recipes they purchased the book, and I can see why. The recipes sound great. Just know that if you want to listen to this while driving, every once in a while (at the end of most chapters) there will be a short period where things completely change focus and instead of dreaming about refrigerators, you'll find yourself wondering just how many other things you can put in a chocolate-chip cookie before it's something other than a chocolate-chip cookie.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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A narrated recipe book

I seriously don't get the love for this book, especially in audio format. First off, the book would have flowed much more smoothly if the recipes had been left out of the audio version. Listening to recipes is never interesting. Listening to renovation hell isn't all that much more interesting.I found it tedious, not entertaining. It's not funny to me that a store selling appliances is never open and that someone would spent weeks walking by just waiting for the hour that the store happens to be open. But then, I'm not a chef and don't have that kind of need (or interest) for particular appliances. This has become the book that I listen to when I have insomnia.

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  • Zebra Karma
  • 08-18-18

Other People’s DIY

I adored the author’s previous books. He’s terrific on food and on being an ex-pat in Paris. Alas this book iliterally involved watching paint dry, not to mention many trips to Ikea and the search for floorboards that are a few millimetres off the standard French dimensions.

Where was his editor during all this I wonder? Sound asleep probably. How else to explain it. A typical paragraph.
“The one thing I wasn’t paying attention to was how far from the sink the crew had attached the faucet. When the water line was attached, the lever to the faucet happened to be in the open position and after a few lurching sputters of water came out, a steady flow suddenly burst forth drenching the counter. The faucet had been set too far back and the spigot barely cleared the side of the basin.”

Couldn’t finish it.