Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down Hardcover – Apr 24 2012
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"Baldwin's prose is wise and nimble, clever without being self-conscious, true to the myriad voices of his characters...Moving and genuine." -- The Washington Post
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What this is not: the definitive portrait of life in Paris for Americans.
Rosecrans Baldwin is a funny guy with an unusual name, and he gets an opportunity with all kinds of funny possibilities: he is offered a position in an advertising agency in Paris. He is supposed to bring the American viewpoint. People in advertising often have a reputation for being, shall we say, quirky, and Baldwin's co-workers definitely are. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that his first ad campaign is about breastfeeding, so he is surrounded by images of breasts all day long. So OK, the humor is not particularly subtle.
Rosecrans and his wife Rachel build a circle of friends. They go to parties. They eat French food and drink French wine. And after a while they decide they are ready to go back to America - not really a spoiler in view of the title.
It's a funny book, but not laugh-out-loud funny for me. Being of the female persuasion, when I read memoirs by married men I often find myself wishing for more of the wife in the story. Unfortunately for Rachel, she is not as quirky as some of the other people in Rosecrans's orbit. She is not neglected exactly. She has a really beautiful moment in this narrative. But really it's mostly about him.
After a glut of reverent memoirs about buying villas in Tuscany and Provence, this book is a refreshing change.
I do recommend it for anyone who's curious about what it's really like to live in Paris, or just generally to be an expat. It's a well-told story with plenty of funny details.
The author style is fluid and so familiar you will breeze through this book as if he was telling you his story in person.
Best book I have read all year.
Ok now I know everybody hates a negative review but I abide by honesty in my life and after reading this book
i'm left with alot of negative impressions, which make it impossible to be positive about this book.
First off, I'm not sure I even like the guy. I'm an expat also but I really can't identify with him.
The author obviously has a tremendous ego. I can't get over how he gets this pefect dream job that
allows him to live in Paris and at the same time make several expense paid trips to other cities and
countries of which he barely even seems interested in. Yet he never once implies that he's happy about
the opportunity he has to live in Paris. The whole year he lives there it seems he's more interested in partying
and clubbing then actually exploring the real France. For someone that could only budget one nights dinner out
a month, how could he possibly pay for all the cover charges and drinks at the clubs he went to?
He does not pull off the "Fish out of water" story very well. His writing style just doesnt lend to humour.
He writes very dryly and unemotionally, obviously each little chapter is an expansion on some journal entry he made while living in France. How is he going to write humourously if he never shows any emotions himself?
I would have liked a bit more detail as to what went on at the office. He just snips in and out on a few things
like him mispronouncing a word and his coworkers obscene replies to what he says, and then passes it off as humour.
If he actually showed some embarrassment for what he has mispronounced perhaps that would be funny, but then again his ego.
I noticed he doesn't like other Ex-pats, nor people younger then him. I can understand distancing himself from other Americans in order to immerse oneself into another culture but his year spent in France was not an immersion per se.
He had a wife and his semi french/american life to come home to every day.
He does eems to enjoy France as does his wife but she's unhappy because of the construction going on
around the apartment and instead of getting another one, just continues to live there for a year
while she suffers.
This book just feels like the author took his journal and forced himself to write a book about his year in France
without anything really profound or life changing ever happening. Maybe it could have, but I feel like Rosecrans is
one of these guy's thats been given everything in life by his parents and could never be able to appreciate his good
fortune in actually getting a job in Paris. Pair that with his ego and total lack of emotion and his experience in Paris would obviously be dull.
I bought this book hoping to gain some insight into France and her people. Perhaps I did learn a few small things but other books such as Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light give so much more insight into the city and in such a beautiful poetic way that this book seems like a waste of paper in comparasion.
The whole time that I was reading this book I was asking myself why was it printed? Did Rosecrans have such a huge success with his other books that this one received automatic acceptance?
Anyways, give this one a big miss.