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The Most Beautiful Walk In The World: A Pedestrian in Paris [Paperback]

John Baxter
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 16 2011

“Aman with a great appreciation of what makes Paris tick.” —Newsday

Fromthe author of Immoveable Feast and We’ll Always Have Paris comes aguided tour of the most beautiful walks through the City of Light, includingthe favorite walking routes of the many of the acclaimed artists and writerswho have called Paris their home. Baxter highlights hidden treasures along theSeine, treasured markets at Place d’Aligre, thefavorite ambles of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach, andmore, in a series of intimate vignettes that evoke the best parts of Paris’smany charms. Baxter’s unforgettable chronicle reveals how walking is the bestway to experience romance, history, and pleasures off the beaten path . . . notonly of La Ville-Lumière, but also, perhaps, of life itself.

Frequently Bought Together

The Most Beautiful Walk In The World: A Pedestrian in Paris + The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City + Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.18

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Product Description


“One of the smartest nonfiction titles for summer reading ... Baxter tracks both the city’s history and the many celebrated figures who have savored the art of walking in one of the world’s most beautiful capitals.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“A lovely book ... Full of unexpected pleasures ...Parisians claim that walking walking around Paris is an art form in itself, and Baxter proves them right. (Chicago Tribune)

“A man with a great appreciation of what makes Paris tick.” (Newsday)

“We are the beneficiaries of John Baxter’s considerable, vivid love for the expatriate life in Paris. ... The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is as close as a reader can get to the feel of a languid spring walk along Baron Haussmann’s boulevards.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Anyone who loves Paris and loves to walk will feel this book was written just for them. ... Charming.” (USA Today)

“A splendid memoir ... Reading The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is the next best thing to a Paris vacation.” (Boston Globe)

“Fabulous . . . the perfect companion for anyone inspired to hop over to France after seeing Midnight in Paris” (

From the Back Cover

Thrust into the unlikely role of professional "literary walking tour" guide, an expat writer provides the most irresistibly witty and revealing tour of Paris in years.

In this enchanting memoir, acclaimed author and long- time Paris resident John Baxter remembers his yearlong experience of giving "literary walking tours" through the city. Baxter sets off with unsuspecting tourists in tow on the trail of Paris's legendary artists and writers of the past. Along the way, he tells the history of Paris through a brilliant cast of characters: the favorite cafés of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce; Pablo Picasso's underground Montmartre haunts; the bustling boulevards of the late-nineteenth-century flâneurs; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; the alleys where revolutionaries plotted; and finally Baxter's own favorite walk near his home in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Walking and Less Talking Would Help! June 6 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was hoping this book would describe a number of walks in Paris that would help me plan for a great trip this summer. Unfortunately, there's little in the book that describes actually taking specific walks in Paris. Up to about page 90, there are only about 2 pages describing a walk in Paris, and even that is very limited to sitting in a beautiful spot in the Luxembourg gardens. I've only read to about page 140 because even though there is more about specific walks in the second hundred pages, there's very little for me to use for my own visit. I wasn't looking for a travel guide, but I was expecting specific information about where it's nice to walk in Paris. This book is entertaining if you want to read about walking in general, but a major disappointment as a description of where one should go for a walk in Paris.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like walking in Paris with a great storyteller! March 6 2012
This book about Paris is like a tour through the city's most charming places that a tourist could easily miss. The author obviously loves his subject and is very knowlegable about Paris, both above and below ground. He takes the reader on a journey through some of the most romantic of the city's literary and debaucherous moments while also poking through antique shops and making fun of visitors. A great, relaxing, pleasurable read.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like the past of Paris being important because it is important for a visitor to Paris. Otherwise Paris can become just a foreign city. He brings Paris alive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read Aug. 2 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Makes me want to be back in Paris. John Baxter can write. I'm ordering 'A Moveable Feast' after reading the book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
116 of 121 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Latin Walking June 7 2011
By Y. Zohar - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been to Paris a number of times and I love the city. I also like reading Paris books. This is not a book for first timers nor is it a book that will provide you with much practical tour information, if that is what you are seeking. The walking described is not the "begin at Point A and finish at Point B" type.
This book is primarily (but not exclusively)about the Latin Quarter, where the author lives, and concentrates on the more "colorful" side of the Quarter, particularly as pertains to the American expat literary figures who haunted the area.
This is definitely an entertaining read. The author is a long time resident, married to a French woman and apparently fluent in French. He also works part time as a guide. So it is clear that M. Baxter is very much a part of the city he loves. I learned quite a few tidbits about places I've been to and not been to. If you are a lover of Paris, you will enjoy this book.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivered on the Title July 10 2011
By Mona AlvaradoFrazier - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just read several of the other comments and was a little puzzled, did we read the same book? Mr. Baxter
delivered just what the book title and jacket describes: a pedestrian in Paris, a memoir of the author who gave 'literary
walking tours," and his version of 'the most beautiful walk in the world." And indeed it lives up to those descriptions and is very well written, interesting, and often funny.

Yes, it's not a travel book of Paris, but it didn't purport to be one. And yes, I certainly agree that if you put a map in the book, ensure that it is correct. But don't let those things detract from reading a pleasurable and satisfying memoir.

I've visited Paris twice, so I'm not an expert by any means, however Mr. Baxter's 'walks' have given me loads of information for a literary walking tour when I visit again.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agree and Disagree June 27 2011
By Doug Clark - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I agree to some extent with the other reviewers, I enjoyed this book. I have read other John Baxter books and this one is similar to the others - especially "An Immovable Feast." His books give me many "ah-ha" moments - because Baxter is married to a French native as am I. We often spend a month in Paris in a rented apartment and try to experience the City rather than being tourists. This book gave me insights - although I would agree it is not a guide to Paris especially for first time visitors. This is really more of a memoir or a book about "traveling through life." I would put this in the same category as Adam Gopnik's "Paris to the Moon," although I have to admit that I preferred Gopnik's book.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lively Sept. 14 2011
By Stephen T. Hopkins - Published on
One joy that can come from reading is the pleasure of listening to someone talk about something they really enjoy or love. Such an experience awaits readers of John Baxter's The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris. A longtime resident of Paris, married to a Frenchwoman, Baxter injects personal anecdotes with the settings he describes, and the spirited writing takes readers into Baxter's enthusiasm. Readers who have never been to Paris will be enchanted, and will want to be there. Those who have been in Paris will feel as if one has returned. Those most familiar with Paris may quibble with Baxter, but are likely to feel proud of how the city of light shines on these pages. Readers looking for a travel guide will find more useful books than this one, but few of those capture the city's spirit as well as this one.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book about a beautiful city. Oct. 31 2011
By Will - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading the copy in our public library. It is a keeper. Reading this book is like conversing with the author. He is humorous and well-informed. The book is both a personal memoir and a guide to Paris. Anyone who is interested in literature and writers will find it interesting. He writes of Hemmingway and company and the French revolution Anyone who loved "Midnight in Paris," anyone who has visited Paris or wants to visit Paris should enjoy it.
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