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Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas (P.S.) [Paperback]

John Baxter
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.23
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Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas (P.S.) + The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061562335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061562334
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 12.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 788,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Paperback. Pub Date: 2008 Pages: 270 in Publisher: Harper Perennial A witty the cultural and withculinary education. Immoveable Feast is the charming. funny and improbable tale of how a man who was raised on white ead-and did not speak a word of French-unexpectedly ended up with the sacred duty of preparing the annual Christmas dinner for a venerable Parisian family. Ernest Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast-a city ready to emace you at any time in life. For Los Angeles-based film critic John Baxter. that moment came when he fell in love with a French woman and impulsively moved to Paris to marry her. As a test of his love. his skeptical in-laws charged him with cooking the next Christmas banquet-for eighteen people in their ancestral country home. Baxter's memoir of his yearlong quest takes readers along his misadventures and delicious triumphs as he visits the farthes...

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3.0 out of 5 stars Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas 6 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book, Christmas is simply a vehicle to discuss French food culture, and the family occasions brought together by a meal. Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas is the story of an Australian man, married to a French woman, trying to impress his in-laws by putting together a spectacular Christmas dinner. Utilising traditional French cuisine, as well as some more modern twists, he travels to a few different places in France to pick up the right ingredients, with some nice anecdotes about the French approach to food and selling it. Then, of course, we witness the Christmas dinner in all its glory, everybody eating and drinking their fill. and in-laws are suitably impressed.

It's a fun book. Not particularly long, or discussing much about French culinary history, it's a light read with some nice stories. Well written, you enjoy the dinner they have as if you were a part of it, and you remember back to your own Christmases with family and friends, as well as the effort made over the meal itself. You get a nice insight into French culture with Christmas, and in general. The book doesn't contain much gastronomic detail about cooking the meal, but for what it is, it's an enjoyable read.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Treat 16 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
Having visited Paris (again!) just before Christmas this was a wonderful treat... I'd love to spend a Christmas in France and hope to do so one day - it's on my 'before I die' list!!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Louise 28 Nov 2008
By Josh Lindsay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was trying to find a book here on Amazon about French Christmas cooking when I stumbled upon this book. In fact, I thought there were some recipes in the book, but there is only a vague explanation of a couple dishes. However, that took nothing away from my enjoyment of this wonderful book!

The author's writing was very approachable, and allows the reader to run through the book. The story, however, was amazing and inspirational. It is filled with personal anecdotes from his life as he tells the journey of putting together a Christmas dinner for a traditional French family who knows their way around the kitchen. These short narratives might seem like filler to some, but I thought they were what gave the novel life, from his friend's experience of a Napoleon era wine, his trip to India for spices, and, in particular, his amazing daughter Louise.

While reading this book, Louise reminded me of the light that Pearl brought to the "Scarlet Letter." I am probably over-emphasizing her involvement in the novel, but her sophistication shines through and represents the character of France that is exhibited throughout the novel. Plus, as a 19-year-old, I am able to see how other people of the same age live in other parts of the world.

But, I digress, as the main story is just as fascinating to imagine, which in particular has inspired me to try and replicate such an event, sadly without the Roast Suckling Pig! So, if you are looking for a quick read for the weekend, with an insight into the French and their cooking, I cannot see how you could wrong with A Paris Christmas!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Xmas PiggyFest in Paris 2 Nov 2008
By Terrance Gelenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Xmas PigggyFest in Paris

Ernest Hemingway called Paris "a moveable feast" - a city ready to embrace you at any time in your life when you feel able to return its embrace. For Los Angeles-based film critic John Baxter, that moment came when he fell in love with the only French woman who can't cook and impulsively moved to Paris to marry her. As a test of his love, his in-laws charged him with cooking the next Christmas banquet--for eighteen people in their ancestral family home. And he has been dong it ever since

As a bon vivant with an insider's perspective on the City of Light he is regularly sought out for advice on the city's best markets, restaurants, cheese shops and boulangeries-questions that lead to lengthy, anecdote-filled riffs but the question that silences him is "Where can I get a Christmas dinner in Paris?" The answer: almost impossible.

That set him to thinking about his own Paris Christmases. IMMOVEABLE FEAST recalls with great joy his growth from a nearly mute English-speaking diner to Père Noel with an apron as he passionately plans and prepares sumptuous annual feast after feast. This perfect stocking stuffer will inspire you to save at least one American turkey from extinction.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delectable, BUT 3 Jan 2009
By LitFlickChick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book IS like a little feast. A savory narrative about French culture and cuisine, peppered with tidbits about Australia, a hint of India and a good measure of the Anglo/American influences on this writer and his love of food.
BUT, don't buy this sweet/piquant morsel based on the Amazon "Product Description." It was written by someone who did NOT read the book.
This is not "a test of love," nor a memoir of Baxter's "yearlong quest... as he visits the farthest corners of France in search of the country's best recipes and ingredients." In other words, this isn't a long culinary travelogue of France -- which would have been a blast.
The author begins to prepare his menu and assemble ingredients not over the space of a year, but during the week before Christmas, with most of the ingredients sought not far and wide, but along a 120km stretch of France's Atlantic coast.
Still, you'll enjoy this very "toothsome" book. Just don't expect the cover to reflect what's actually inside the book. (Hint: this doesn't actually depict a "Paris Christmas" at all.)
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a very good effort 14 Sep 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A rather disappointing book (I read The Most Beautiful Walk in the World first. The overall story is his preparations for and making of Christmas dinner for the French family he married into. However most of it is him telling us how little he used to know about food. Now he knows about as much as most people likely to be reading this book. It is poorly seasoned with food related anecdotes that seem more like name dropping than contributions to the story or offering of interesting asides. One idiosyncratic feature, Mr Baxter seems never to have heard a story describing a woman or group of women who believe in the medicinal power of swallowing semen that he cannot find a way to fit into the story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feast for the Imagination 26 Dec 2008
By MS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Baxter has a wonderfully eclectic mind that will start you off with a shopping list in Paris and end up in the memory of a long ago escapade with a former girlfriend, wife, or fellow writer, as he prepares a most spectacular Christmas meal for his extended French inlaws, all the more remarkable that he (an Australian) should be asked to cook the meal by a family steeped in the culinary and social history of France. The perfect holiday read, or for any winter moment, when you want to curl up and escape fora few hours, not to mention that he gives you interesting historical bits about the various items on his Christmas menu. What distinguishes this from the many other romantic memoirs of Paris now popular, is that it takes you so much further afield (as far as Mumbai, India). The only reason I was glad to get to the end was to be able to share it with others.
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