Colleen's Reviews > Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
by Rosecrans Baldwin
by Rosecrans Baldwin
May 16, 13
Read in May, 2012
Paris, I Love You was good for a chuckle now and again but most of the time, I found myself scratching my head...for many reasons. The most off-putting thing about it was the flow. When my son was two years old, I observed him, fascinated and puzzled, running back and forth across the room--zipping this way and that, bouncing off the walls into other directions. (I grew up with sisters--the inability of most boys to sit still, even for a moment, still confounds me.) Just for fun, I even drew a real-time map of his movements! Well, that's exactly how I felt reading this book. It jumped all over the place, zipping left, right, up, down. There were NO transitions whatsoever. I was never sure who was talking, where they were, what time it was. If this author isn't a textbook example of someone with ADHD, I don't know who is. There were some funny moments, but most of the time I felt like I was living his stream-of-consciousness. Someone never told this author that we're not very interested in reading about the day-to-day lives of people. That is bbbooorrriiinnnggg. If I'm going to spend my time reading an author's account of living and working in Paris, I only want to read the funny, sad, or amazing parts. I don't want to read, "We went to (fill in the blank) for dinner. We walked home along the Seine." Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of that. Another head-scratcher was Baldwin's attempt to come up with amazingly original similes. Here's one:"...sometimes Paris was as big as a sandwich bag." I guess I get it...Paris can sometimes seem very small, but...a sandwich bag? Here's another: "One night there was a party in the glass-roofed Grand Palais, and it looked to us on the terrace like fireworks were being shot off indoors, it looked like terrorists were blowing up a flower shop." Huh--what the hell does that mean? Or: "In the distance, the Eiffel Tower looked like an enormous sprinkler." "Words and sentences appeared in my hand like fish from a bag." I didn't even understand the last line, "Otherwise, Paris was forever one day soon." I don't think I've EVER not understood a last line before. I don't understand the title of this book either. There was plenty of "Paris I Love You" but none of "You're Bringing Me Down." At no point did I feel like he was unhappy living in Paris. Another problem I noticed: An entire chapter was devoted to the conversation of a Polish girl named Lilli, who doesn't speak a word of French or English. And yet, Baldwin translates her dialogue, word for word. How would he know this? Did he neglect to mention that he was fluent in Polish? Unless I'm missing something, this seemed to be an editorial blunder. The only reason I gave this book two stars was that his stories about the people he worked with were often very funny. They were truly eccentric characters--the kind that make a book interesting to read. Otherwise, this was a disappointment.
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