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A Town Like Paris: Falling in Love in the City of Light Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767928172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767928175
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,595,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Australian journalist Corbett offers a humorous and vivid account of his love affair with Paris. In an attempt to save his nine-year relationship with his high school sweetheart, Corbett follows her from Sydney to London. His efforts prove ineffectual and the two break up within weeks of his arrival. On a whim, 28-year-old Corbett applies for the position as head of public relations for a government organization based in Paris. Although he has little PR experience—or interest in the job itself—he is offered and accepts the position, living the French belief that people should work to live and not live to work. Corbett balances his boring formal office life with various exploits involving nightly debauchery. As an expatriate, his experiences with the French government, the French Plumber's Union and the various crazies who make up his Le Marais neighborhood are entertaining. As Corbett adjusts to the city—language barrier and cultural differences included—he makes friends, enjoys the food and eventually falls in love with a woman named Shay. Corbett's comically insightful observations of the French, along with his Aussie interpretations of joie de vivre, make for an amusing memoir. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Corbett excels in self-deprecating humor and laugh-out-loud funny observations.”--Sunday Mail

‘Fast-paced and amusing, told with rollicking good humor . . . Corbett writes wittily and accurately about Paris, not glossing over the rough patches and the mysteries.”--Sun Herald

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Customer Reviews

Hey, when I think about doesn't this mean he did assimilate afterall?
Peters365
Bryce Corbett is an imaginative, creative writer who easliy holds ones attention while creating lovely pictures in the reader's mind.
Bonnie L. Corbett
Bryce Corbett's writing style is so entertaining that by the time I finished reading this book, I was dying to meet him.
Lizz Robb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on October 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've read a couple of books of this ilk (foreigner drawn to Paris). Bryce Corbett's take is among the best. He doesn't take himself too seriously. He's a good observer - he knows both funny and absurd when he sees it. He inflects his tales with a generous humor that transcends borders. He's respectful of the French people and their culture, but also arches his eyebrow towards what he perceives as anachronisms like the 35-hour workweek and the government-subsidized work lunch. Plus, he pithily articulated what I've always wanted to see in print: The _real_ reason French Women Don't Get Fat. Hint: it has less to do with the specious 'three square meals a day' and 'good quality produce' theories promulgated by Mireille Guiliano, and more to do with nervous energy, 'a packet of Marlboro Lights and a couple of Xanax.' As for what's fueling that nervous energy, well, read the book!

Also, take a look at Corbett's video posted on this Amazon page. It's a nice three-and-a-half minute summary of the book. It also captures the author's winning personality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By abundant on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am wondering if anyone else found Corbett's writing about his first french girlfriend who happened to be Jewish, who he writes he should have known she was crazy because she studied Hebrew and wanted to emigrate to Israel, disturbing ? Was this an attempt at humor ? The rest of the book is boring exploits about Corbett's partying and not much else, pretty sad account of living in Paris for 6 years.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jazz Baby on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was so irritated by the condescending and self-important writing in this book, not to mention its dreadful lack of structure (it is a series of lazy, over-written yet underdeveloped essays) and its endless cliches that I spared myself the trouble of finishing it. It is an exercise in turning a book supposedly about a magical city into a shrine to the author's ego and narcissism. Thoroughly unpleasant reading experience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Emma Bow on August 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Found this coming back from Australia, had selected the films I planned to see on the flight and then read A Town Like Paris from cover to cover. Corbett's account of ex-pat life is hilarious, whether or not you know Paris (although anyone who has spent time there will love seeing their experiences so wittily described). Bring on the sequel!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mademoiselle Karine Pham on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Bryce is hilarious and his book is real piece of expatriate Parisian life. I've been reading other expatriate stories about Paris, and this is the funnier by far.
I am French Parisian living in Sydney and looking to my hometown through his eye was such a refresh. His analysis is entertaining, accurate and witty. Plus, having a showgirl is not something very common for us, Parisian born people ;)

J'ai a-do-ré le livre de Bryce, je lis et relis et le conseille à toutes les personnes qui souhaitent avoir une idée de ce qu'est la vie parisienne à travers les yeux d'un expatrié. Etant moi-même une expatriée, originaire de Paris et vivant actuellement à Sydney, je suis de l'autre côté du miroir et je peux vous assurer que vous retrouverez l'humour et l'enthousiasme typique des australiens. J'ai retrouvé le Paris que je connais avec une écriture tonique, drôle et précise.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tierny on September 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
The intro on the the back of this book begins: 'At the age of 28, Bryce Corbett was stuck in a dead end job in London..." It will take you at most ten pages to figure out why Mr. Corbett was in such a situation. He is a mouthy, stupid a$$ of the highest order.

He refers to the French as Frenchies, brings up the lack of deodorant again, name-drops Keanu and Scwartzeneggar, while smearing them both. Perhaps the two of them are risable, but noone picks up a book on living in Paris to hear his glib sour-grapes about Schwartzeneggar's meanness and Reeves lack of intellect.

In the lack of intellect department, Bryce excedes him. What a d0uche.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By UpperDown TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
What a sad reminder that anyone can write a book, even a narcissistic Aussie bumpkin trying his best to convince the world he's anything but. Mr. Corbett's spares no disparaging remark against other visitors to Paris (excited Italians or camera-toting Americans) to convince readers that he's some sort of worldly bon vivant. I've stepped in puddles that aren't as shallow as this book or its author.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Thillens on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Thankfully, I borrowed this book from the library instead of buying it new from Amazon. From the reviews and description I was expecting a fun and interesting story of an Australian expat's life in Paris. Instead, what I found was an annoying memoire of a man who surrounded himself with an ever widening circle of fellow anglo expats and his resulting failure to truly immerse himself in Parisian life. Mr. Corbett proudly tells about the fun, gay neighborhood he chooses for his own, while making sure that we understand that he's keeping his macho Aussie neanderthal street cred by drunkenly carrousing around with other fellow expats (mainly in the expat bars he has managed to discover during his tenure in the City of Light.) I couldn't help but want to get on a plane to Paris so that I could find the author and wack him soundly over the head a few times with his book in the hopes that he might see some sense. In all, Mr. Corbett utterly fails to understand French culture or to truly grasp the native citizens of his adopted city by then end of this book. Really, save your money and skip this waste of time. If you're looking for an interesting and thoughtful read I would either recommend Sarah Turnbull's book "Almost French" or Vanina Marsot's "Foreign Tongue" for better insight into French and Parisian culture and the clashes that come with expat life in Paris.
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