In many ways this book is a welcome corrective to the current rash of books insisting that the French (like the annoying character in Nicole Hollander's comic strip "Sylvia" ) Do Everything More Beautifully Than You. It turns out, for example, that Rosecrans Baldwin's co-workers at a Paris advertising agency are wont to lunch on McDonald's takeout (albeit in quintessentially French style, starting with a "first course" of chicken nuggets and moving through a burger entree to a salad course and then dessert). And Baldwin's descriptions of tangling with French bureaucracy make the reader want to weep with sympathetic frustration. For the most part, however, I did not find his insights all that illuminating, and his noble attempts to avoid romantic cliche and find fresh descriptive language for the city that has fascinated him since early youth frequently result in comparisons that are obscure at best and at worst just off-putting, such as this description of the city's arrangement into arrondissements:"Paris's neighborhoods are organized like a twist. They spiral from the river like toilet water flushing in reverse and erupting out of the bowl...."In some places Baldwin also seems to have been ill-served by his editor and/or proofreaders, such as when he writes about focusing on his "annunciation" rather than on his "enunciation." (To be clear, this is not an amusing cross-cultural slip of the tongue. It is a straightforward vocabulary error in English.)Overall, I would say about this book the same thing Baldwin tactfully says to a Paris real-estate agent about an apartment decorated in a style not to his taste, "Ce n'est pas terrible."