Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin

87%

10 Critic Reviews

Baldwin, a witty and polished writer, never pretends to be doing more than taking snapshots, but his vivid impressions of Paris and its people (expats included) are most engaging.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A self-described Francophile from when he was little, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris—drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins—so when an opportunity presented itself to work for an advertising agency in Paris, he couldn’t turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he barely spoke French. After an unimaginable amount of red tape and bureaucracy, Rosecrans and his wife packed up their Brooklyn apartment and left the Big Apple for the City of Light. But when they arrived, things were not eactly what Rosecrans remembered from a family vacation when he was nine years old.

Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down is a nimble comic account of observing the French capital from the inside out. It is an exploration of the Paris of Sarkozy, text-message romances, smoking bans, and a McDonald’s beneath the Louvre—the story of an American who arrives loving Paris all out of proportion, but finds life there to be completely unlike what he expected. Over eighteen months, Rosecrans must rely on his dogged American optimism to get him through some very unromantic situations—at work (writing booklets on how to breast-feed, raise, and nurture children), at home (trying to finish writing his first novel in an apartment surrounded on all sides by construction workers), and at every confusing French dinner party in between. An offbeat update to the expat canon, Paris, I Love You is a book about a young man finding his preconceptions replaced by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy city—which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris for the second time.
 

About Rosecrans Baldwin

See more books from this Author
Rosecrans Baldwin's first novel, You Lost Me There, was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2010, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and a Time and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of Summer 2010. He is a cofounder of the online magazine The Morning News.
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 305 pages
Genres: Travel, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
All: 10 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jan 30 2012

Baldwin, a witty and polished writer, never pretends to be doing more than taking snapshots, but his vivid impressions of Paris and its people (expats included) are most engaging.

Read Full Review of Paris, I Love You but You're ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Thomas Williams on Apr 30 2012

Mr. Baldwin's descriptive gifts are so good that it is hard not to wish that he had saved up a little money, quit his advertising gig and simply gone out into the city more, wandering the streets like a flâneur...

Read Full Review of Paris, I Love You but You're ... | See more reviews from Wall Street Journal

Open Letters Monthly

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Donoghue

All the novelist’s tools are used here in the service of non-fiction, and used superbly.

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Slate

Above average
Reviewed by Claire Lundberg on May 05 2012

Gradually, Baldwin’s fantasy Paris is replaced by reality, and he finds he loves that city, too. As in falling in love with a person, true love with a city only comes in accepting its faults, and for those of us who tough it out, the irritants of Paris can become badges of honor, and small triumphs.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by John Freeman on May 20 2012

“Paris I Love You” is full of a kind of traveler’s wisdom.

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Newsday

Excellent
Reviewed by Lawrence Levi on May 10 2012

Otherwise, the book is a light read, sweet and airy as a meringue.

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The Seattle Times

Below average
Reviewed by Kevin Hamilton on Apr 22 2012

Ultimately, Baldwin moves past the cliché, but just barely.

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Artvoice

Excellent
Reviewed by Woody Brown on Jun 14 2012

The text is filled with pocket-sized prose hors d’oeuvre, fine little bits of fioritura that are a real delight to read...

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Flavorpill

Excellent
Reviewed by Omar Sommereyns

His prose is fluid, well-observed, quite funny, and allows you to live vicariously from far, far away.

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Amy Scribner on May 01 2012

In his funny and candid memoir, Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, Baldwin learns that life in the City of Light isn't all croissants and berets.

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