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The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris Paperback – May 24, 2011
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“A lovely book ... Full of unexpected pleasures ...Parisians claim that walking walking around Paris is an art form in itself, and Baxter proves them right. (Chicago Tribune)
“A man with a great appreciation of what makes Paris tick.” (Newsday)
“We are the beneficiaries of John Baxter’s considerable, vivid love for the expatriate life in Paris. ... The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is as close as a reader can get to the feel of a languid spring walk along Baron Haussmann’s boulevards.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Anyone who loves Paris and loves to walk will feel this book was written just for them. ... Charming.” (USA Today)
“A splendid memoir ... Reading The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is the next best thing to a Paris vacation.” (Boston Globe)
“Fabulous . . . the perfect companion for anyone inspired to hop over to France after seeing Midnight in Paris” (NPR.org)
From the Back Cover
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.
More About the Author
His second interest, however, was science fiction, which he began writing in his late teens. He sold stories to the same British and American magazines as J.G. Ballard and Thomas M. Disch, and in 1966 his first sf novel, THE GOD KILLERS, was published in both the US and Britain. He also edited the first-ever anthologies of Australian science fiction, and wrote the first history of the Australian cinema.
In 1969, he came to Europe, settled in London, and began writing books on the cinema, including a biography of the director Ken Russell, and studies of John Ford, Josef von Sternberg and the gangster and science fiction film genres, and working as an arts journalist for various magazines, and for BBC radio. He also served on the juries of European film festivals.
In 1974 he was invited to become visiting professor at Hollins College in Virginia, USA, where he remained for two years. While in America, he collaborated with Thomas Atkins on THE FIRE CAME BY; THE GREAT SIBERIAN EXPLOSION OF 1908,and wrote a study of director King Vidor, as well as completing two novels, THE HERMES FALL and BIDDING.
Returning to London, he published the technological thriller THE BLACK YACHT. In 1979 he moved to Ireland, and the following year returned to Australia, where he co-scripted the 1988 science fiction film THE TIME GUARDIAN, starring Carrie Fisher and Dean Stockwell. He also wrote and presented three TV series on the cinema, and produced and presented the ABC radio programme BOOKS AND WRITING.
In 1989 he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a screenwriter and film journalist. The following year, he met his present wife, Marie-Dominique Montel, and re-located in Paris.
After moving to France, John published biographies of Federico Fellini, Luis Bunuel, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas and Robert De Niro, as well as five books of autobiography, A POUND OF PAPER: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK ADDICT, dealing with his fascination for collecting books, WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS: SEX AND LOVE IN THE CITY OF LIGHT, of which the SUNDAY TIMES of London wrote "it towers above most recent memoirs of life abroad," IMMOVEABLE FEAST: A PARIS CHRISTMAS, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD: A PEDESTRIAN IN PARIS, and THE PERFECT MEAL. IN SEARCH OF THE LOST TASTES OF FRANCE.
John has co-directed the annual Paris Writers Workshop and is a frequent lecturer and public speaker. His hobbies are cooking and book collecting. He has a major collection of modern first editions. When not writing, he can be found prowling the bouquinistes along the Seine or cruising the Internet in search of new acquisitions.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is primarily (but not exclusively)about the Latin Quarter, where the author lives, and concentrates on the more "colorful" side of the Quarter, particularly as pertains to the American expat literary figures who haunted the area.
This is definitely an entertaining read. The author is a long time resident, married to a French woman and apparently fluent in French. He also works part time as a guide. So it is clear that M. Baxter is very much a part of the city he loves. I learned quite a few tidbits about places I've been to and not been to. If you are a lover of Paris, you will enjoy this book.
delivered just what the book title and jacket describes: a pedestrian in Paris, a memoir of the author who gave 'literary
walking tours," and his version of 'the most beautiful walk in the world." And indeed it lives up to those descriptions and is very well written, interesting, and often funny.
Yes, it's not a travel book of Paris, but it didn't purport to be one. And yes, I certainly agree that if you put a map in the book, ensure that it is correct. But don't let those things detract from reading a pleasurable and satisfying memoir.
I've visited Paris twice, so I'm not an expert by any means, however Mr. Baxter's 'walks' have given me loads of information for a literary walking tour when I visit again.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible. Mr. Baxter captures his (and our) love for Paris perfectly. A lover of stories and consequently a great storyteller ,the author takes us walking through the Paris of... Read morePublished 3 days ago by WJN
Loved this book! Thought it was intelligent and fun. In fact, I would like to hear more about the author's life in Paris. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Elizabeth
A helpful book for those that wish to see Paris from the viewpoint of someone interested in giving a 'backstage' view of the city of light. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Benita
My husband bought it for me to read about interesting places to visit in Paris at night. He did not realize it deals with the PAST HISTORY of Paris. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Harold J Kelly
This is billed as a travel guide to Paris.
It is not.
It is gossip about the author's life in Paris and contains no information of any use to a vistior/tourist. Read more