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The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

Written by John Baxter

Narrated by Graham Halstead


The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

Written by John Baxter

Narrated by Graham Halstead

ratings:
3.5/5 (7 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781541470033
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Thrust into the unlikely role of professional "literary walking tour" guide, an expat writer provides the most irresistibly witty and revealing tour of Paris in years.

In this enchanting memoir, acclaimed author and long-time Paris resident John Baxter remembers his yearlong experience of giving "literary walking tours" through the city. Baxter sets off with unsuspecting tourists in tow on the trail of Paris's legendary artists and writers of the past. Along the way, he tells the history of Paris through a brilliant cast of characters: the favorite cafés of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce; Pablo Picasso's underground Montmartre haunts; the bustling boulevards of the late-nineteenth-century flâneurs; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; the alleys where revolutionaries plotted; and finally Baxter's own favorite walk near his home in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Paris, by custom and design, is a pedestrian's city-each block a revelation, every neighborhood a new feast for the senses, a place rich with history and romance at every turn. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is your guide, par excellence, to the true, off-the-beaten-path heart of the City of Lights.
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781541470033
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

John Baxter has lived in Paris for more than twenty years. He is the author of four acclaimed memoirs about his life in France: The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France; The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris; Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas; and We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Baxter, who gives literary walking tours through Paris, is also a film critic and biographer whose subjects have included the directors Fellini, Kubrick, Woody Allen, and most recently, Josef von Sternberg. Born in Australia, he lives with his wife and daughter in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, in the same building Sylvia Beach called home.


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Reviews

What people think about The Most Beautiful Walk in the World

3.7
7 ratings / 11 Reviews
What did you think?
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I love John Baxter's style. I learned so much. I could almost see and smell the wonderful sights he described, even though it's been decades since I was in Paris.
  • (3/5)
    I did not know what to expect from this non-fiction part history part autobiography. It was a bit disjointed between chapters and it was not a smooth read as a result. I enjoyed some of the anecdotes, but the transitions could have used some more work or better editing.
  • (3/5)
    This wasn't quite what I expected. The book intimates that there will be secret insight into walks around Paris. In reality however it's a series of anecdotes, some relating to 20s Paris literary legends and their haunts and others seemingly random. It was quite enjoyable but I was ultimately a little disappointed due to misguided expectations.
  • (3/5)
    Probably not a book I'd be drawn to unless I was planning to visit Paris in the near future. The author is an Australian ex-pat who married a French woman and now has the good fortune to live in the illustrious 6th arrondissement in a building previously inhabited by the fabled Sylvia Beach. His local neighbourbood was, as he takes pains to tell us frequently, frequented by literary giants from days gone by. We should be so lucky. A little rambling in structure, the book is a series of anecdotes/memoirs loosely based around the author's part-time occupation of walking tour guide. There are some interesting snippets of history, local colour and the like, but the book's merit really lies in encouraging visitors to see Paris as a pedestrian. It is a city that really can't be appreciated any other way.
  • (4/5)
    An enjoyable ramble through literary Paris, The title is a little misleading as it is part memoir, part history and wanders around somewhat. The Most Beautiful Walk... is not actually mapped out or shown, but is more of a personal reflection of the streets and alleyways of Paris. A nice distraction that can be put down and picked up quite easily without losing any thread.
  • (3/5)
    I'm a sucker for books about Paris, and I had read Baxter's first book about life in that city, so when I saw this volume on special for 99-cents from iBooks, I grabbed it. This is a quick and pleasant read. It is a good template for walks for anyone visiting Paris (although, somehow, I think I'd avoid the author's walking tour business as being outrageously expensive). He gives insights that only someone who lives in the city can give & that's what makes this book so much fun.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this personal view of Paris and Parisians written by an expatriate Australian. He writes very well, always holding your interest. It is like an entertaining conversation rather than a substantial written work.
  • (4/5)
    I ended up very much enjoying this book after a couple of chapters that were about Australia and not Paris. I understand that they were about walking and informed the narrator's opinion of walking but I think this is why a lot of people don't like this book, which is otherwise wonderful.
  • (4/5)
    This the second of Baxter's books on Paris that I have read, and I enjoyed this one much more than the first. It's a breezy travelogue on Paris and its streets, about the very culture of walking neighborhood by neighborhood. Baxter has lived there for decades and brings a long-time resident's insights, while still adding contrasts from his experiences during his Australian childhood and other stops abroad. This book will particularly delight literature fans, as Baxter can't help but emphasize that aspect of the city--with a heavy dose of Hemingway. The appendix with travel tips would be helpful for anyone who plans to travel to Paris, too.
  • (4/5)
    delightfully written!
  • (2/5)
    This is a case of how one is captured by a book; for me, it was the title and the cover more so than the actual content. Allow me to explain. First, the title….who WOULDN’T want to experience that and when you find out it’s set in Paris, it’s almost a guarantee. They are known as the city of lights for a reason and their beautiful architecture speaks for itself. Second, let’s look at that cover. Every time I look at it I get lost in the waterways of the top image or imagine myself strolling down the lamp lit street below. The subtle use of color in both give them a warm glow, inviting the reader to take that first step on the pathway to greater things. Beyond the beautiful cover and promise of a remarkable time though, the story within isn’t entirely disappointing…it’s just not quite what my imagination thought it might be. You see I was prepared for a sweeping narrative with bookishness to spare and while there were literary references along with the discovery that others (as in visitors to the city) could appreciate them as well, there was a lot more real life that seeped in between the lines. In all my reading excitement, I think it slipped my mind that this was in fact a MEMOIR, a travel one nonetheless. I’m not opposed to the genre, as I’ve read and shared my experience with them before, but unfortunately this one didn’t quite meet my expectations. Will it meet yours? Hard to say…but if you do decide that French is the language of reading love for you, grab your beret, a glass of wine and settle down for a journey through life from a residents point of view.