An Unforgettable Nocturnal Tour Through Five Iconic Parisian Neighborhoods By The Bestselling Author Of The Most Beautiful Walk In The World John Baxter Enchants Readers With His Literary Tour Of Paris In The Most Beautiful Walk In The World Now, This Expat Who Has Lived In The City Of Light For Than Twenty Years Introduces You To The City S Streets After Dark, Revealing Hidden Treasures And Unexpected Delights I ve read two other books by John Baxter, and enjoyed those far than this one This felt like a loosely assembled collection of anecdotes and Paris factoids of which Baxter has plenty, but it seemed like he was just dumping them all in one place, rather than arranging them in a cohesive order strung together with the shaky thread of the five senses It was a great idea on theory but wasn t executed well, and I don t know if that s totally the fault of the author it was a tough theme to stick to A quick read, not his best. This book is somewhat interesting.as long as you pretend that it has a completely different title The premise is to provide a guide for Paris after hours divided into five nights where each night i based on a sense Being that I have an upcoming trip to Paris, I thought this was a unique concept and couldn t wait to read it What a huge disappointment.The first several chapters are mostly the author hemming and hawing about doing a night tour Should I do one How do I do one What should I include in one I wanted to read about about this tour, not the plans about a possible tour The concept for this seemed to have come about after the author was approached by a woman who asked about a night walk, and the author understood that she wasn t the type who wanted anything that focused on Moulin Rouge, the Museum of Eroticism, and, well anything sexual in nature It was something likely literary in mind.It was chapter 10 that night one finally began Except it didn t And, well, neither did the second, third, fourth, or fifth nights Why Because not only was none of it really based on the senses as indicated, barely any of it took place at night The vast majority of the book was either random personal anecdotes such as things the author would buy at the market or random tidbits of history such as toilets, horse droppings, and the guillotine these three taking place in the sound section In spite of the author making it a point to mention how most night tours included some of the sexual things and how this woman didn t seem to want that, he decides to include some sexual things in here anyway Why act as if you re offering something that others don t offer only to offer the same thing The book is very poorly organized with no real rhyme or reason to how and why all of these things were strung together in the order they were chosen There were several times I had to backtrack to ensure I didn t skip a page or a paragraph because it so quickly jumped to something completely unrelated Within the last few chapters, the author is STILL trying to figure out how to do a night tour And by the end, he says he doesn t do them So yeah, he wrote an entire book pretending it was going to be something he really knew nothing about, and ultimately didn t make it about that at all.So why three stars for all this negativity Because aside from the disorganization, I probably would have enjoyed it had it not tried to lure readers in with a false pretense Read it for some interesting history and if you love a personal take from an an Australian expat living in Paris Don t read it if you think the title has anything to do with the contents of the book. Hit and miss A nice look into the daily life and history of Paris, but the layout isn t exactly as promised Some of the chapters in certain sensory breakups don t make, well, sense Like food in the sound chapter The ideas area also pretty scattered Not everything even has anything to do with night in Paris I.E gardens exist at all times and food vendors are mostly open in the day time, so why talk about them in a book about Nights The writer clearly comes from a love of Paris and a certain understand of it, which he does not always communicate to the reader However, if you re interested in Paris already and just want to grab as much of it as you can, this is a good book to read about some of less known aspects of Paris In that regard, it is an enlightening book, and at least worth a read. I m a sucker for anything about Paris, and I ve read a couple of John Baxter s other books, so I was looking forward to a pleasant holiday read Unfortunately, Mr Baxter was phoning this one in and relied way too heavily on his tales of sexual weirdness for my taste Don t waste your time. If you have all the time in the world and want to cull a half dozen decent anecdotes out of this volume, go ahead Be warned, it s not useful at all for a traveler, and may enrage you with its abstruse story telling style and the self importance of the author.I have to compliment the publisher and designer though, this is a sexy and appealing packaging for a mystifying vapid book. Not what I expected, and pleasantly so Rather than an account of tours of Paris, as suggested on the back cover Baxter leads readers on five evening tours across Paris s great neighborhoods Baxter does much Replete with stories of writers, artists, philosophers, and musicians though not excluding other luminaries the book is about Baxter s flirtation with doing night tours, and the kind of information that would make such tours interesting But I do not know whether the book could be used as a guide to the city And I don t care Organized into sections that appeal to the five senses the book considers the city from five perspectives, and shows why Paris is so intriguing The only thing I did not particularly like about the book were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter They seemed only loosely connected, and in some cases I could not find the connection By skipping the quotes I found the flow much better Your results may differ.Very good and quick read. Once a French teacher who was fortunate enough to take several trips to France for free with students, I long to go back and miss my home away from home with an ache, a pining As such, I will read most anything in or about France This book was charming, the author knows his people and his city, but it is not going to suggest a set of five tours you should take in Paris at night, if that s what you feel it might do He captures the five senses in Paris, a very cool concept, but many of his chapters in each section seem tangential and unrelated to the sense they were attached to The stories are still entertaining Read this if you want to expand your knowledge of and fall in love with the essence of French people. When Hemingway called Paris moveable feast, he didn t mention that there s no menu The table sags under the weight of incidents, personalities, anecdotes, legends, liesp 7Less than a month ago, I finished Baxter s The Most Beautiful Walk in the World A Pedestrian in Paris So when Harper Perennial gave me the opportunity to read this new book by Baxter, I jumped at the chance I was not disappointed Baxter has a breezy style that makes his books very absorbing Before I knew it, I was halfway through his night time walks.I like the fact that Baxter is not native French, but has lived in Paris for years I believe it helps him understand what tourists might be interested in that the usual guidebooks don t cover I also enjoyed the way he created his walking tours Each one is tied to one of the five senses.Unfortunately, I am still not headed to Paris anytime soon, but in the meantime, I have visited some places I would have not found on my own I recommend these tours to all armchair travelers and to those who want to know about Paris than that it is the home of the Effel Tower.Thank you to Harper for letting me read another fun book by John Baxter. Similar to his earlier book The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, John Baxter delivers a confused and rambling self indulgent pseudo memoire He seems concerned with humble bragging about his past experiences with celebrities and contributing to the fetishization of Paris than with providing a real guide book to the city While Baxter is clearly an intellectual with lots of knowledge and stories to share, the format of this book is a disaster His chapters are sloppy and disorganized, and he comes off as another vaguely misogynistic idolater of Hemingway who is simply coasting on the reputation of a beautiful city.
John Baxter born 1939 in Randwick, New South Wales is an Australian born writer, journalist, and film maker.Baxter has lived in Britain and the United States as well as in his native Sydney, but has made his home in Paris since 1989, where he is married to the film maker Marie Dominique Montel They have one daughter, Louise.He began writing science fiction in the early 1960s for New Worlds, Sci
- 352 pages
- Five Nights in Paris
- John Baxter
- 13 November 2017 John Baxter