The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

by John Baxter

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061998546
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/24/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 276,209
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Baxter has lived in Paris for more than twenty years. He is the author of four acclaimed memoirs about his life in France: The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France; The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris; Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas; and We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Baxter, who gives literary walking tours through Paris, is also a film critic and biographer whose subjects have included the directors Fellini, Kubrick, Woody Allen, and most recently, Josef von Sternberg. Born in Australia, he lives with his wife and daughter in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, in the same building Sylvia Beach called home.

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Most Beautiful Walk in the World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a joy. A delightful view of the City of Lights. Reading this book will slow you down as you walk togeather with the author. We will always have Paris!
ohtokauai More than 1 year ago
Take a stroll or two with John down streets you will always remember whether you visit Paris or now in your lifetime. You will feel certain you have been there after reading this book.
scottRFD More than 1 year ago
The book is definitely an inspiration for people who wants to travel to Paris. The descriptions of the place in this book are truly inspiring and could be enticing for people to go pack up and then travel to Paris right away. Paris is different in many ways and people can be affected and mesmerized by its beauty. No wonder the author has done a good job describing it through this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not sure I can really give this an adequite review, having read it only once. There is so much to think about, so much alien to my experience, having not seen Paris from this view. This book must be read and longed over, and over again, much as one would do with a lover.
GRgenius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a case of how one is captured by a book; for me, it was the title and the cover more so than the actual content. Allow me to explain. First, the title¿.who WOULDN¿T want to experience that and when you find out it¿s set in Paris, it¿s almost a guarantee. They are known as the city of lights for a reason and their beautiful architecture speaks for itself. Second, let¿s look at that cover. Every time I look at it I get lost in the waterways of the top image or imagine myself strolling down the lamp lit street below. The subtle use of color in both give them a warm glow, inviting the reader to take that first step on the pathway to greater things. Beyond the beautiful cover and promise of a remarkable time though, the story within isn¿t entirely disappointing¿it¿s just not quite what my imagination thought it might be. You see I was prepared for a sweeping narrative with bookishness to spare and while there were literary references along with the discovery that others (as in visitors to the city) could appreciate them as well, there was a lot more real life that seeped in between the lines. In all my reading excitement, I think it slipped my mind that this was in fact a MEMOIR, a travel one nonetheless. I¿m not opposed to the genre, as I¿ve read and shared my experience with them before, but unfortunately this one didn¿t quite meet my expectations. Will it meet yours? Hard to say¿but if you do decide that French is the language of reading love for you, grab your beret, a glass of wine and settle down for a journey through life from a residents point of view.
WorldReader1111 More than 1 year ago
A delightful little book, I think. 'Walk' engaged me from the start, with its whimsical premise and clear, witty writing style. From there, the text retained my interest, first with its immersion into Paris and French culture, then with equally substantial historical, biographical, and culinary side-stories. Consequently, the book features a pleasing, eclectic mix of content, reading something like a travelogue mixed with a memoir mixed with a Parisian history lesson, all peppered with the author's rascally humor. Likewise, the book proved to be strong from a literary perspective, with functional prose, a tasteful length, and easy-to-read formatting, culminating in a complete, polished piece of work. What I most enjoyed about 'Walk,' however, was its value as a sociological study. Specifically, the book succeeded that much-sought sense of transport, into the essence of the Parisian experience in some small part; and, thus, it presented the same fundamental contrast between life in that part of the world and that of elsewhere, along with the sort of rare, priceless insights yielded by such a juxtaposition. While no book is a total substitute for actual travel, to be sure, some convey just enough information that, when combined with a healthy imagination on the reader's part, the end effect is comparable, if perhaps lessened. As it were, 'Walk' is, for me at least, one such book, able to grant just enough objective, external stimulus for me to take a French vacation in my mind, complete with the sort of personal growth and expansion of its real-life counterpart (and far cheaper, too). A sort of magic, you could say. In a nut: I learned from Mr. Baxter's Parisian adventures, in a meaningful and lasting way, and I laughed as I did so. This, combined with the book's general excellence, demands a full five-star rating. My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work. * * * A couple fun quotes from 'The Most Beautiful Walk in the World': "'If you want to see God laugh,' they say, 'tell him your plans.'" -- p.13 "[...] A cookbook is like a sex manual: if you need to consult it, you aren't doing it right." -- p.29
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I bought this when I was planning a trip to Paris and wanted to read a lot of books about paris. I found this to be a bit boring.
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It's really fun!
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There
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Hey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marching to greece.