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Paris: The Collected Traveler: An Inspired Anthology and Travel Resource Paperback – September 26, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Perfect for both the armchair traveler and those who want to get up and go.” —Chicago Tribune --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

BARRIE KERPER is an avid traveler and reader who has lived abroad and previously worked for the travel book division of the original Banana Republic. She is also the author of Central Italy -- Tuscany & Umbria and the forthcoming Provence.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Collected Traveler
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Fodor's; annotated edition edition (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609804448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609804445
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,747,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Imagine: that good friend, or person in your office, who is a seasoned, savvy, world-traveler, always going on trips and having really great authentic wonderful experiences...that person that gets so-o-o-o excited when you tell them that you are planning a trip to a place they've visited, and they jot down pages of notes for you from their collection of books and notes and clippings, along with lots of great advice...and you just wish they would write down everything they know in a book...well here it is!!!
Written and assembled in a totally engaging style (I defy you to put this book down once you've read two pages) and chock-full of all the good stuff you could ever want, plus more, this is THE ESSENTIAL travel book to get you primed for your trip to the City of Light. BUY and READ this book before you buy any other travel books, because there's a lot of good advice here about what you may or may not need or want for your trip (e.g., specialty books on the food of Paris, travel photography, etc.).
If you are planning a trip to Paris, this is the first place to start...if you're still dreaming about it, buy this book and let your dreams unfold. The compilation of writing assembled here is incredible: funny, helpful, informative, provocative and evocative. You'll be thinking about things you would not have imagined before travelling and essentially adopting a travel philosophy.
Let me emphasize that this is not a "travel writing" book. Instead, it takes travel writings and utilizes them to their fullest, by making them a practical part of your pre-trip education.
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Format: Paperback
I always have a difficult time finding a travel guide that I like. Some are little more than lists of monuments and other must-see attractions; some are better catagorized as historical surveys of a place. Very few give me a sense of what a place is actually like - and that is the strength of the Collector Traveler, Paris.
This guide takes the unusual route of researching previously published articles and stories, colating them into themes, citing references and listing bibliographies. The editor of the guide, Barrie Kerper, is a keen researcher and for the small price of the guide, you can benefit from her efforts. For instance, besides the usual notations of the famous Michilin starred restaraunts of Paris, there are articles here about the best places to buy bread in the neighborhoods, or the best ice cream. The point is, traveling does not have to be about draining your bank account, but about living like the locals, even if only vicariously.
I am a notorious and obsessive planner; before going on a long-anticipated trip, I start doing my research. I plan site-seeing routes, shopping trips, where to dine, and where to people watch; but what I cannot plan is what the destination will be like, what my response will be to all the scenes around me. The Collected Traveler gives me more insight into the reality of Paris than any I have ever read. And true to form, I am starting to obsess over all the new things I have learned. One thing I know for certain is that this book will travel with me when I go to Paris.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun book, including, as it does, a series of magazine and newspaper articles on different facets of life and/or visiting in Paris. If you're looking for a guidebook, with maps, and lists and descriptions of highlights to see and instructions on how to get there, hours and prices, this is not the book you are looking for. BUT if you want to get more detailed descriptions of what's only touched on in the guidebooks, or reminiscences, personal essays on experiences, and a sense of the actual flavor of the place, then this is the book for you. There are essays on how the French tie their scarves; on the password you need to buy bread in a French bakery (communication gap: there wasn't one); on the history of the city and why it's called the City of Lights; on the carousels that are found everywhere; and on a multitude of other subjects people wanted to discuss. Will the book help you get around the city if you've never been there before? No. Will it give you an idea of what to look for, enjoy and expect? Definitely.
The one shortcoming I found -- and the reason I've held my rating down to four stars -- is that the book has only a very vague table of contents, and no index. If you want to read about Pere LaChaise Cemetery, for instance, yes, there's an essay in there, but very little help on how to find it in 600 or so pages. The browsing is fine, but if you're looking for something specific, it can be frustrating.
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Format: Paperback
I found Ms. Kerper's anthology to be the perfect travel companion during a recent journey. She has finally produced something for travellers to take along that's as welcome as a map. The writing she has collected here offers a bounty of insights, new discoveries, suggestions and delights - offered in thoughtful, artistic prose. Under every rock a gold nugget. As a new rule, I've decided to start travelling to other places that are honored with a similar collection from Barrie Kerper; Tuscany and Provence are my next destinations!
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