Reid's Reviews > Paris to the Moon

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
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Jun 24, 2011

really liked it

I am one of those people (and we are legion) who have an unrequited love affair going with Paris. It's not that Paris disdains or rejects me, of course; Paris has no idea I exist and wouldn't care less if she knew. Sigh.

Adam Gopnik's book is one more love letter from another lover of Paris, and his is an articulate, cultured, experienced voice indeed. He is mostly fluent in French and his love affair has stretched over nearly the whole of his life. This is a book written during and after a five year stint of living in Paris full-time with his wife and their young son who, while born in New York, remembers only Paris as his home by the time he is old enough to remember such things.

Because of his curious nature and the entree assumed by his status as a reporter for The New Yorker, Gopnik has access to people and things that most of us would be hard-pressed to pull off. So much the better, as the stories he tells are fascinating yet down-to-earth. Not that he spends all of his time in the clouds; much of this book details the challenges of being an American living in Paris, the differences that enthrall and needle, and the little failures of everyday life that are somehow amplified by being in a country other than one's own.

If you already have your own affair of the heart going with Paris, or have ever wanted to begin one, this is a great read. If not, you may enjoy it anyway, as Gopnik could likely write a 500-word essay on a turnip and make it interesting. Have fun! Bon appetit!
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