Top positive review
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How memories are made.
on 12 March 2012
The only way to really get to know any city is to walk (with the obvious exception of Los Angeles, as John Baxter points out so entertainingly) and if this book doesn't make you want to meander around the beautiful city of Paris, nothing ever will! Guide books will tell you things like which metro line will take you to the Eiffel Tower, and that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, but this book will encourage you to wander and seek out for yourself the unusual, the fascinating and the beautiful corners that make this city such a delight to visit again and again.
Mr Baxter's knowledge of Paris and its recent history is evident on every page, and so too is his love for the city that he has called home for several decades. He has many stories to tell about the people who lived, loved, ate, drank and even committed murder in these streets and parks. I will never be able to sit in the Luxembourg Gardens calmly reading my book ever again, without thinking of the Luftwaffe making the Luxembourg Palace their HQ (they weren't daft, were they!) or the evil Henri Desire Landru who met the women he would go on to murder at the cafe in these very gardens, and I shall be constantly looking in shop windows for an opium pipe! Hemingway gets many a mention and Mr Baxter is quite happy to affectionately chip away at the "action man" image that this literary giant has acquired over the years.
The real message of the book is that every one, Parisian and visitor alike, has a different view of what makes Paris such a wonderful place to be, and if you leave your guide book behind and just walk you will find your own favourite shops, cafes and views and then you too can return home with stories to tell. The author has told us about some of his favourite walks in Paris, but I bet he has kept his absolute favourite a secret - and why not!