4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Why do I have to be over 13 to write a review?,
This review is from: Me, Myself and Paris: One Toe Under the Eiffel Tower, The Other In the Grocery Store (Kindle Edition)
Not having been to Paris yet I have little with which to compare "Me, Myself and Paris."
I can only compare it to Hemingways' "Movable Feast," or more recently, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang."
I find Yunkers' book to be more mild-mannered than either of the others. Not a word about the Spanish civil war as with Hemingway, nothing about eating disorders or pre-adolescent sexual experimentation as with Handler (in the first three pages!) I don't believe Chelsea has been to Paris yet either. Nothing in Handlers' book makes me care if she has.
I would rather spend an afternoon with Ruth's reflections than with either of these other two writers.
An hour in the bar with Hemingway might end in an old-fashioned rake fight instigated by some random remark I have made about bullfighting.
An hour in a bar with Handler - I don't want to spend an hour in a bar with Chelsea Handler. It's not happening. And yet I finished her book.
I finished "Me, Myself and Paris" too, though I ran for my Oxford Unabridged before I was five pages in, to look up the obscure 'roue.' And I puzzled fruitlessly to find a connection between acupuncture and claustrophobia.
I suppose other reflections on visits to Paris might be dense with florid descriptions of the Seine, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, or background on how those landmarks came to be. For this reason alone perhaps, Ruth takes the high road. She tells us mostly about her personal exploits during her stay. She details her traumae of adapting to public transportation, of using foreign currency (which is after all not the slightest bit foreign to them), of the language (the same), of gingerly selecting from local cuisine.
The occasional tourist outing seems almost superfluous. Ruth is there to live as the Parisiennes do. And Parisiennes are not going to endure trudging up endless flights of stairs to view local wonders that can as easily be seen in a magazine without having to worry about the weather, rudeness of the company or the problem of how to get back down. When describing her trip to Notre Dame there are three pages about the church, three about the chimera, and eight about climbing the stairs. Medical attention may be advisable. Climbing stairs should not cause your eyes to bug out and your tongue to turn black.
If this book has a foible it would be the absence of pictures. I would like to have seen the the rear end of the person in front of her on the spiral staircase. I was eager to see her pension, the quince tart that stole her heart, a shot of her struggling cutely with Metro passes. I would pay for the opportunity to see her driftwood.
Yet Ruth can turn a phrase. Her desription of `Something mildly ... blag?' about a tart she bought made me laugh. I couldn't have prevented myself if I had wanted to. And I can't quite believe the reported name of one street - the 'Rue de Petit Music.' I don't know much French but ...is that the 'street of not very much music? It may be a good place to live for people who are easily disturbed by noise.
It sounds as if Ruth Yunker will inevitably return to Paris for another go around, and that there will be another installment to her Francophone adventures on her return. I do hope she will invest in a small point-and-shoot digital camera before she goes.