1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
not quite as good as the New York one, but still very fun,
This review is from: Lonely Planet Not For Parents Paris (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)3.5 stars, but it can be rounded up because of the layout and appeal to all ages.
Lonely Planet has a few in the "Not For Parents" series, but compared to the NYC one, the Paris book feels like it's missing a few things. None of them can cover everything, of course, and they are meant more to whet a person's appetite for the city. This book, as well as the NY one do this with humor and fun images, and they do it in a way that doesn't just emphasize things the city is known for, but for its eccentricities and hidden gems, sometimes more so than standard guides that mostly keep tourists On the beaten path. On that regard, again, this book falls slightly short because it has less of the cool obscure stuff and more of the easy-to-find "Eiffel Tower was built in blah blah for the World's fair and was meant to be temporary" type info.
Also, while this is a very minor thing, it was a careless oversight. There is a little drawing of some people at a cafe on the section talking about this, and the caption on one of the patrons says "garçon!" as if summoning a waiter. That would be considered rather rude, as "garçon" means "boy", and much like you would never yell "boy" to your waiter here, you wouldn't do it there either, especially since waiting is a professional job for the majority who do it, and most people will be adults. It's outdated info that someone should have caught...just saying.
Then the section on the Moulin Rouge was a little Disneyfied. Yes, that's kind of expected since the audience is mainly composed of kids, but it's a little misleading to say that in the 19th century, the dancers kicked their legs high up revealing their long pantaloons. People might think, "well that's controversial?". Yes, because pantaloons were open at the crotch so women could use the bathroom without having to take off a dozen layers of clothing, so while you didn't see legs, you definitely saw something! Whether or not parents like that sort of info, I am sure kids would. Kids like funny stuff about poop or body things or stuff they think adults would find kind of uncomfortable, and truth be told, the Moulin Rouge is and was a place in the red light district and involved (not anymore) prostitution and drugs. This is one of those things where you have to make a decision: are you talking about it or not? In that same vein, there wasn't a mention of absinthe. I could go on, but you get the idea.
The book is still enjoyable, if incomplete. Fun pictures, and a nice starter. The next version might consider delving a bit deeper. The format is excellent and very appealing, just as with the NY one, and they are Great for kids (and adults)!
The book talks mostly about places, including various underground structures like the catacombs made from human skeletons, ghost train stations, some neat cultural things and museums, but I keep feeling most of it was somewhat superficial. Another fact I thought would be nice to add was in the section on the French Revolution and the King's wife, Marie Antoinette. They described her very negatively, which is how people saw her, but they could have put in the fact that the famous line "let them eat cake", famously attributed to her, was never actually said by her. They also left out the performing arts, which is a terrible oversight given how rich their traditions are in this arena. I was in Paris only a couple of days, but I was impressed by the number of opera houses, theaters, and places for ballet there were. Signs were plastered everywhere. No mention of this or Molière. They mentioned it for NYC, but not for Paris.