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Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down [Kindle Edition]

Rosecrans Baldwin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

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 how to 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.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Baldwin lands a job with a French advertising agency, he and his wife trade Brooklyn for Paris and 18 months of opportunities seized, the idea being that his nine-to-five will support their otherwise writerly lives in the European capital. Maybe not naively, but idealistically, they aren’t anticipating some of the hurdles: an irrevocably bureaucratic infrastructure that turns most transactions into piles of paper and weeks of waiting, or an apartment surrounded on six sides by neighbors’ construction work. Baldwin works on his first novel (You Lost Me There, 2010) before and after work at the agency—a superlative fishbowl of characters who are so well remembered that one wonders when the author decided to write a memoir of the experience, in fact—until he’s satisfied, and the novel is picked up by a U.S. publisher. Baldwin proves that with the right attitude, everything in this perhaps most magically remembered of all cities is either beautiful, hilarious, or both, and his friendly voice and approachable style will grab those who want to be there and those who have never been. --Annie Bostrom


“A charming entry into the expat canon, this book is Baldwin’s true story of moving to his favorite city in the world — favorite to the tune of obsession, mind you — and realizing it’s not quite as he had imagined.”—Emily Temple, Flavorwire

Baldwin proves that with the right attitude, everything in this perhaps most magically remembered of all cities is either beautiful, hilarious, or both, and his friendly voice and approachable style will grab those who want to be there and those who have never been.” — Annie Bostrom, Booklist

“A charming, hilarious account of la vie Parisienne as experienced by  an observant young American . . . his vivid impressions of Paris and its people (expats included) are most engaging. Great fun and surprisingly touching. Great fun and surprisingly touching.” —Kirkus (starred review)

Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down is a charming, hilarious, keenly-observed and surprisingly poignant journey into the Parisian state of mind. I read it late at night and kept waking up my wife because I was laughing out loud.” —Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall and Four Seasons in Rome


Product Details

  • File Size: 631 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374146683
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071VUTFC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME Book- BUY IT April 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book, was real, hilarious and evoked the romance of living in Paris but with the realities of Living in Paris. Even if you have not lived in Paris ( I have for very short stints), you can appreciate the idea of being a foreigner even in a place as friendly and western as Paris.

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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK snark with a French twist June 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What this is: a rather funny, edgy memoir of a guy and his wife who lived in Paris for a while. The guy worked in advertising and wrote a novel. His wife looked for ways to keep busy.

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.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Book You'll Really Want to Like June 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As someone who is planning on going on a "Big Trip" of my own soon, I was naturally drawn to these sorts of travel books. The unfortunate part of this book is that while it's very well written, it's actually kind of boring. Mr. Baldwin does his best to spice it up with some wit and humour, but even as MOST of the jokes land, you can't help but feel like nothing is really going on. Simply put, this book has no hook. There are no huge moments, no insights that you couldn't get from reading a site on the net or watching an episode of No Reservations. That such a flat story can be told in a way that compels you to finish the book is a testament to Rosencrans Baldwin's ability as an author. His descriptions are well written and suitably flowery for a book about Paris, and the dialog is punchy. I would genuinely love to read something by Mr. Baldwin where something actually happens. As for this book, though, read it for the beautiful descriptions of Paris, but the rest is pretty blah.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS and oh so witty! vive la différence!!!! April 29, 2012
I like books about the French that contrast the differences between America and France without overly bashing either county. Hey, we just think differently. It helped that he and his wife moved there while still in their 20s; they were open-minded and adventurous. He's a good writer and that makes this non-fiction read like a story with characters, like Bruno, his oh-so-French co-worker. It made me laugh, and I read it in a day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly dull January 28, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Personally I thought the author was trying too hard here. Cute story but one I wouldn't mind hearing from a friend over lunch, not investing hours in a book for. Reccomend passing on this one..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique insider perspective - funny, poignant, fresh. January 3, 2013
By niia
I am a copywriter working on an infant nutrition account in NY and I am also a Francophile, so this book was so up my alley (writer goes to Paris from NY to work on a similar type of account account at an ad agency). I've read lots of books about expats in France, but none like this. Baldwin's observations are heartfelt and so beautifully described. While many reviewers focus on the funny moments of which there are many, there are also a lot of other descriptions of what day-to-day life is like in a Paris office, restaurant, party, apartment building. It's kind of sentimental without ever being sappy and has a contemporary voice that was a pleasure to read. I devoured this book and was sorry to see it end. And the best description of what it's like to struggle with the language, and then eventually cross over to the other side. Highly recommend this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and pointless. June 19, 2013
By Dan Mx
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm really not sure what book some of these other people read.

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Living and working in Paris
This book describes living and working in Paris, France. The French are polite and pleasant in the workplace, but any relationship with foreign-born co-workers usually ends at the... Read more
Published 18 days ago by EMom in PA
5.0 out of 5 stars "Making it" in Paris!
Loved this book, he so perfectly captured what it's like for an American to "make it" in Paris. Hilarious in parts, many parts! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Greg Hills
3.0 out of 5 stars A slow, but okay read
The book was good, I'm glad I read it but it was not really a page turner. By the last fifty pages I felt like I was forcing myself to finish it, not because it was bad but because... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex Apostol, author
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-out-Loud!
This is a hilarious and well-written book. Absolutely perfect for expats in Paris or those considering moving to Paris.
Published 4 months ago by Nancy B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very well written, so well in fact, I've changed my mind about going to Paris. Very entertaining
Published 6 months ago by walter urbanski
5.0 out of 5 stars This guy is a great writer!
Interesting, funny and extremely well-written. Five stars!!
Published 8 months ago by AEK
2.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a travel book nor an insightful memoir of France...
Rather it is the extended blog of a bland, immature Connecticut kid’s year or so in Paris with his unhappy wife in tow. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Edward K.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you are not retired
It was well written and moved along very well. However I am retired and the book seems geared more toward the today's younger generation. Read more
Published 11 months ago by R. Stout
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summer beach book
Very charming light read. The author has some very hilarious observations on Paris and Parisians. I really enjoyed this book.
Published 11 months ago by Laurie Stapleton
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and insightful
I am reading this book while in France. I find it very entertaining, at times laugh-out-loud funny, yet also insightful and informative.
Published 12 months ago by M. S. levinson
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More About the Author

Rosecrans Baldwin is the author of "Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down" (GQ's Best Books of 2012) and "You Lost Me There" (NPR's Best Books 2010, New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice). His next novel is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

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