Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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A self-described Francophile from when he was little, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris--drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins--so when an opportunity presented itself to work for an advertising agency in Paris, he couldn't turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he barely spoke French. After an unimaginable amount of red tape and bureaucracy, Rosecrans and his wife packed up their Brooklyn apartment and left the Big Apple for the City of Light. But when they arrived, things were not eactly what Rosecrans remembered from a family vacation when he was nine years old.

Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down is a nimble comic account of observing the French capital from the inside out. It is an exploration of the Paris of Sarkozy, text-message romances, smoking bans, and a McDonald's beneath the Louvre--the story of an American who arrives loving Paris all out of proportion, but finds life there to be completely unlike what he expected. Over eighteen months, Rosecrans must rely on his dogged American optimism to get him through some very unromantic situations--at work (writing booklets on howto breast-feed, raise, and nurture children), at home (trying to finish writing his first novel in an apartment surrounded on all sides by construction workers), and at every confusing French dinner party in between. An offbeat update to the expat canon, Paris, I Love You is a book about a young man finding his preconceptions replaced by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy city--which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris for the second time.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780374146689
Branch Call Number: 944.361 BALDWIN
Characteristics: 286 p. ; 22 cm.


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LPL_HazlettH Jul 06, 2019

A charming, light read about living in Paris as an American (man). I enjoyed Baldwin’s open-ended writing -- often closing chapters with inconclusive thoughts -- and observations of Parisian norms. Might be the book to read if you’re talking yourself out of an extended journey abroad.

Nov 21, 2015

Nonfiction at its best, written in conversational tone and with laugh-out-loud parts like a light novel. A lovely portrait of a moment in Paris for the armchair traveler.

modboi5 Apr 27, 2015

A terrific summer read, light and breezy, with many pop culture references, much cultural insight, and zippy prose... A readable 'Paris For Dummies'. Rosecrans Baldwin proves Paris is for everyone!

Dec 31, 2013

Hilarious and surprisingly clever...especially the descriptions of working in the ad agency.

Dec 24, 2013

I've read over a dozen memoirs in the "I had always wanted to live in Paris..." genre, and this book is one of the best. Enjoyed it very much.

ChristchurchLib Apr 08, 2013

""J'adore Paris," Rosecrans Baldwin says at a job interview, and his future French boss replies, "Who doesn't?" Indeed - but most of us don't have a French friend who can help us snag an advertising-agency job in Paris (on the Champs-Elysées, no less!). So, even though Baldwin doesn't speak French very well, he takes the job, and he and his wife leave Brooklyn for the enchanting City of Light. They discover that living there is wonderful, but also more difficult than they'd thought (the language problems, the large amounts of paperwork, etc.). In addition, Rosecrans learns that the office culture in France is quite different from what he's used to (for one thing, political correctness is NOT a concern). If you'd enjoy a young man's view of Paris, pick up this enticing, well-written travelogue." April 2013 Armchair Travel newsletter

Oct 26, 2012

Recommended to me as being an entertaining book. Potentially good premise. I found the story quickly became tedious and seemed contrived, albeit allegedly a true account. Abandoned after reading 1/3 of the book. Maybe it got better but I couldn't be bothered to find out.


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Flew through this book. It definitely held my attention. Trying to figure out why that was. Baldwin's writing was occasionally inept, and some of his descriptions and metaphors, incomprehensible or just plain weird. Part of my fascination was undoubtedly Paris itself and the familiarity of places and experiences. His characters are curious and compelling, and there are worthwhile insights into French culture here. The problem may well be the age gap between the writer and myself. There's a self-absorbed, spacy quality to the narrative that can be off-putting and lots of references to trends in fashion, food, music, activities that eluded me completely.


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