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We'll Always Have Paris: Sex & Love in the City of Light

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  299 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
For more than a century, pilgrims from all over the world seeking romance and passion have made their way to the City of Light. The seductive lure of Paris has long been irresistible to lovers, artists, epicureans, and connoisseurs of the good life. Globe-trotting film critic and writer John Baxter heard her siren song and was bewitched. Now he offers readers a witty, auda ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published 2005)
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Les Misérables by Victor HugoA Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensMy Life in France by Julia ChildThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
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165th out of 455 books — 451 voters
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France..and Paris!
193rd out of 227 books — 94 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 721)
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Feb 12, 2014 Raquel rated it really liked it
I purchased this book as entertainment for my 9 hour flight to Paris, unfortunately, in my haste to the airport I forgot the book on my entry table. While meeting with a business contact at a cafe in the left bank, he introduces me to a gentleman who walks in. He's introduced to me as an Australian author who now resides in Paris with his French wife and daughter. This pleasant man joins us and remains chatting with me long after my business contact had departed. We had a wonderful conversation ...more
Jul 29, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Another great book about Paris, especially about the Paris of the Lost Generation (1920s and 1930s). Though it's written from a modern era, by someone who loves Paris, especially the more risque side of the city, and delights in exploring it's tawdry history. John Baxter also follows every romantic Paris-lovers dream ... though a successful journalist and writer in LA, he chucks it all to marry a Parisian woman he dated long ago and reconnected with, and moves to Paris with her, living in a pala ...more
Jan 16, 2008 Erin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Paris lovers
Shelves: attic
This is probably the most unique book about Paris I've ever read, and what I loved about it is that it showed me sides of Paris I've never seen before (in person, or in books!). This book treads a really delicate balance between the "sex" and "love" in its subtitle. Two of my favorite parts of this book are when the author traces the history of Paris brothels and when he sums up the French attitude toward sex. But I also really liked how the author balanced this history with his own experience o ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Kerry rated it did not like it
Shelves: travel, biography
It's always disappointing when a book takes on topics that seem to be impossible to make boring and does so. Sex? Paris? What is going on? There is no excuse to write a book so bland!

Disorganized and uninteresting, it does not know if it wants to be a history of cinema and literature, a book about sex in Paris, or a memoir. It also cannot decide if it wants to be shockingly graphic or simply suggestive and chooses a lurid in-between area where no writing about sex should land.

The anecdotes abou
Molly Jean
This book, the author's first book about Paris, is OK but not as good as his second book about Paris, "The Most Beautiful Walk in the World" (which I read first). He covered a lot of the same ground in the second book so this book quite often seemed like a rehash of old news. Sometimes he went on way too long, specifically the Surrealists and Man Ray. And there were errors...even I know that the napkin over the head bit is done when one eats a roasted ortolan not when one sits down to a dinner o ...more
September Dee
Nov 10, 2014 September Dee rated it really liked it
Enjoyed learning more about Paris during this time period. Humour, insights and food for thought for anyone who loves all things French. Well written and not your average book on Paris for sure. Enjoyed reading something definitely a little different.
Butch Byers
Apr 12, 2014 Butch Byers rated it really liked it
Shelves: paris
Love John Baxter's style - engaging, self-deprecating, lots of cultural fish out of water moments but all presented with a super sense of wonder. Looking forward to his future stories about "Paris with teenagers"... Now that's a book w advice I could use!
Feb 27, 2010 Hester rated it liked it
Memories of Paris by John Baxter, an Australian writer. As an Aussie, he brings a different spin to the essays-about-Paris-genre. I like his emphasis on Paris' naughty and erotic past, but it was not as interesting as I was hoping for. One of the most interesting passages was about a Catholic restaurant in Pigalle catering to the area's prostitutes that had shut down. This book, like "Paris to the Moon" involves the impending birth of a child and how different that is in Paris, but it does not h ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Jasmin rated it it was ok
The book started off okay, and as usual, any story set in a Parisian scene is often allure enough for me. However I found it increasingly difficult to keep my interest in this book, and quit perhaps 40 pages short.
Jun 10, 2011 Michelle rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who love anything about Paris
This was by no means a bad book, I just did not enjoy it nearly as much as I had hoped to, or as much as I have enjoyed other memoirs. I guess part of the problem is that it wasn't entirely a memoir. Instead, it focuses a lot on Paris history. And not just any history, but the raunchy history. And that topic doesn't offend me, but that is not what I picked up the bok for. So I have to be honest, I was disappointed. I was also annoyed with the name-dropping. So you are an Australian who knows lts ...more
A racier view of Paris than I expected! But lots of fun to read. Just goes to show, no two people will ever view Paris alike...
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Baxter interweaves the tale of his love story with Marie-Do, his love story with Paris, and the story of love and sex in Paris in this book, We'll Always Have Paris.

In the end, I had mixed feelings about the book. The stories of Baxter's meetings with the famous and the infamous in Paris had a sense of boasting that I didn't like. The stories of love and sex in Paris' past felt raunchy, more than I wanted to know, at times. I liked it best when Baxter told the story of his love affair with Mari
Nov 23, 2014 Margaret rated it liked it
This novel had a little more sexual history of Paris than I truly needed. Some intriguing stuff but what was most compelling was Baxters own story of immersion in French culture.
P Suzette
Apr 05, 2015 P Suzette rated it liked it
I have to admit - I learned some things...
Matthew Beck
May 26, 2014 Matthew Beck rated it really liked it
Excellent fodder for anyone with a Paris obsession. A lot of stories, tales and off-the-books history nicely integrated with the author's own story.
Jun 16, 2011 zespri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-memoir
The author of this book is apparently an acclaimed film critic and biographer. His extensive knowledge of film, the visual arts and books made this a very different and interesting view of Paris.

Interwoven with this cultural tour of Paris is the author's own journey of meeting his french partner and his moving to Paris from Australia. Quite a cultural jump, and one which he obviously does very successfully.

The book is full of literary quotes and behind the scenes anecdotes, though I guess that'
I enjoyed reading this book because I love everything about Paris, however, it was a bit long-winded at times. It made a lot of references to fairly obscure authors, books, musicians, etc, many of which I had never heard of, and therefore, the references were lost on me. The storyline got lost among all the references and so the book felt choppy and I was getting tired of it by the end. Overall, I would still recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in Paris, although it wouldn't be my ...more
Judy Beyer
Nov 14, 2014 Judy Beyer rated it really liked it
This is a re-read. I loved this book the first time round, and I'm nose-deep in the streets of Paris already.
Jennell McHugh
Nov 19, 2008 Jennell McHugh rated it liked it
Great one-liners, anecdotes, insights! Do not be fooled by the title-- I've determined it more of a quip to what keeps the "City of Light" lit. Despite his career of critique, Baxter is extremely jolly and offers himself up to his readers. I spent the month of August dedicated to France and the enigmatic, expatriates and later-claimed luminaries evolving/deeeeevolving there and this was a great almost travelogue-ish reflection.
Nov 24, 2009 William rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Is it a book on the author's charming experiences with his own French love or is it an interesting excursion into the sex and love (mainly sex) trivia of Paris? Well, it's both, but it should be one or another. Either theme can make its own book; no need to intertwine. Baxter writes well, at least, and anyone interested in Paris may eventually want to try this quick read.
Dec 08, 2013 Mattie rated it liked it
Interesting travel memoir. However, I found not having a frame of reference (having not been to Paris) a distinct disadvantage in assessing the book. That did make me want to visit (not that I didn't want to already), but not in the same way that the movie Midnight in Paris did.
Nm Boi
Aug 28, 2008 Nm Boi rated it liked it
This was a good read. Having just visited Paris I could relate to the places the writer was speaking about and the history of it all. Doesn't read like a book however and is kind of choppy in structure. Still, it was enjoyable if you are a fan of Paris and its brilliant history.
I read this book before my trip to Paris, as I thought it would provide a little insight into daily life as a Parisian amidst the sexual history of Paris. The author did just that and it made my trip just a little more meaningful.
Alison Smith
Dec 04, 2011 Alison Smith rated it it was ok
This Australian author married a French woman, and has lived in Paris for 15 years. He's an acclaimed film critic. Anecdotes about the arty and the notorious who have lived in Paris - plus some naughty pics in the photo section.
Jul 25, 2010 Angie rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected surprise. It let me know that I am lacking basic French history, and I think my next group of historical biographies will be about some of the people I read in this tiny book. The French are an interesting bunch!
Apr 20, 2013 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
Am re-reading this gem of a combination memoir/travel/romance/humor. Baxter paints vivid scenes which take you to the heart of the Parisians & Paris along with personal reminisences & observations which light up his chapters.
Aug 10, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
This autobiographical collection of essays will show you the Paris you've never seen and inform you on the Paris you've never read about. His literary and historical references will keep you turning the pages.
May 30, 2011 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was interesting to get into the Paris mind set, but maybe a bit too risque for general reading. Was most interested in his descriptions of the French health care system, apartments, mannerisms, summer homes, etc.
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
The author's good narrative skills move the story forward and involve the reader. I laughed out loud several times. A good light-hearted look at why people are attracted to the romance of Paris from one who is.
May 04, 2007 Casey rated it liked it
A lovely--and refreshingly uncensored--account of a man's move to Paris. The author is a film scholar and avid reader, so his bibliography is terrific, and he references many terrific French films.
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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
More about John Baxter...

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