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Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down Hardcover – April 24, 2012

79 customer reviews

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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

Review

“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

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374146683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374146689
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #906,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Christopher on 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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Graham Bell on 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rushmore VINE VOICE on 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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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wayne on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Daniel Mullineaux on 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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dan Mx on June 19, 2013
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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