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The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City Paperback – March 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
This is Lebowitz's only non-cookbook and it's quite interesting. After the death of his partner, he decided to start his life anew and move to Paris. The majority of the book focuses on a menagerie of trials and tribulations that he has had over the last six years adapting to a new life, and new culture. I think at times, we all have fantasized about picking up and moving to another country. Lebowitz points out many things that we don't consider during these day dreams, like the difficulty of getting peanut butter or adapting to much smaller living spaces.
The book is only 304 pages, and many of those are recipes. Each chapter ranges from 3 to 10 pages, making it the perfect book to read on the beach, or a rainy weekend while fantasizing about being on a beach. It would be a horrible book to read while you are on a diet. Lebowitz is a consummate blogger, has experience as a pastry chef at Chez Panisse, and has written several cookbooks so he knows how to write about food in a way that makes you want to eat whatever he is talking about. His descriptions of the cheeses of France had me pricing plane tickets to Charles de Gaulle airport.
There were a few things I did not care for. The writing is not outstanding, and I felt like he focused on the difficulties of moving to Paris more than the wonderful things. I also wish that the recipes at the end of the chapter had been more relevant to the content of the chapter. I would strongly suggest reading this with a computer nearby so you can translate some of the French.Read more ›
It's the non-recipe part of the book I had a problem with. Here, Lebovitz could have really used a good editor, since his short vignettes about life in Paris read like a blog, not a book. What is good for one is not good for the other. Blog entries are short and often read by people new to the web site. It's okay, in other words, to start in the middle (if you're the reader) or repeat yourself (if you're the writer). In a book, however, the recurrence of observations (fanny-pack wearing loud Americans, pushy Parisians, haughty shop personnel, and so on) gets pretty old after a while, particularly since Lebovitz is hardly the first person to write about them. The placement of recipes is also odd; often they are just stuck in at the end of a section, for no particular reason that's evident. Oh for a Laurie Colwin, who built her food essays so beautifully around a particular recipe or two. And David Sedaris, when he writes about his life in France, is a whole lot funnier.
While the recipes may be first rate, there are better books about an American in Paris. There's Julia Child's great "My Life In France," of course, but for something more contemporary there's Adam Gopnik's "Paris to the Moon," which never repeats itself and which opens up aspects of French life that are just plain fascinating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book that sucks you into the story,also had some recipes that I would make any day. They are all delicious. Great present for myself and family.Published 4 days ago by caitlin vierra
I loved it. It didn't make want to live in Paris but I definitely want to visit. It's a great cookbook and guide to life in Paris. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Kindle Customer
what a terrific book. the author is so funny and wicked in his observations. XLNTPublished 16 days ago by joe colton
Tres Bon! ~~ Americans dont adapt, so they expect all French-in-France to speak English, sez US author, chef David Lebovitz. Read morePublished 29 days ago by James R. Anderson
Nice and easy read. My favorite feature: storage recommendations for all the great recipes - in case you cannot eat it all in one sitting. *thumbs up*Published 1 month ago by Monika Agnes