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Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik

Paris to the Moon (2000)

by Adam Gopnik

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2,383273,924 (3.71)83
  1. 20
    The Sweet Life in Paris : Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious--And Perplexing--City by David Lebovitz (rakerman)
    rakerman: The Sweet Life and Paris to the Moon are similar perspectives on living in Paris. Sweet Life is a light, humourous take on the challenges of moving a new city, as seen mostly through food and food-related activities. It has a bit more of a travel-guide tone. Paris to the Moon tries to explore more in detail the peculiarities of Paris from an outsider's viewpoint, with wry commentary. It also has a bit of a wistful tone as many of the tales are of the author's son exploring the city. Both are very good starting points to understanding the French, giving the positives but also the many difficulties of adapting from American to Parisian culture.… (more)
  2. 10
    Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light by David Downie (rakerman)
    rakerman: Paris to the Moon is a much more wistful, intimate look at Paris, but both books are from the perspective of someone who has spent years living in Paris. In the book Paris, Paris the approach is to give a sense of the city through the people, places and phenomena that have shaped it, as filtered through the experiences of the author. In Paris to the Moon it's much more about getting a sense of what it is like to live in the city as an outsider.… (more)
  3. 10
    A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (carlym)
  4. 00
    1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke (John_Vaughan)
  5. 00
    Into a Paris Quartier by Diane Johnson (carlym)

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Adam Gopnik has a way with language, but most of this book failed to work for me. The most successful passages deal with the mundane and the private aspects of their lives changed by their new environment. The author's son's experiences stand out in this respect, reflecting the burden of childhood as well as that of the expatriate.

The author often will use french words and vocabulary without explanation for the English reader - given that it's written for an American audience it's an odd choice. Sometime's it can be puzzled out from context, but often I was left just unable to imagine what his family is experiencing. (example: "gigot d'agneau avec flageolets" - something you eat, that's as far as I can get). ( )
  sarcher | Feb 7, 2018 |
In 1995, Adam Gopnik, a writer for the New Yorker magazine, along with his wife and infant son moved from NYC to Paris.

From Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik photo 211686ce-fb8b-46ef-9e73-04f0426431e1_zpscunxnxnm.jpgThis book is a collection of his award-winning “Paris Journals” that he filed for the magazine. But unlike other books that are an assemblage of essays, this book is not choppy or undisciplined. It’s an intelligent, heartfelt look at the most beautiful city in the world at the turn of the twenty-first century. (Gopnik was there for Y2K but returned to America shortly thereafter.)

Some critics have complained that Gopnik’s essays are outdated, but I think they transcend time. He has captured the very heart of Paris culture and attitude. It’s well worth reading whether you’re planning to visit Paris or not.

I loved this book. 5 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Nov 13, 2016 |
An American in Paris and how I envied him and his little family. This book is a collection of essays which give an insight to living in another culture and makes for interesting reading but is not a travel book per se. I think Mr Gopnik must be quite bilingual although he doesn't say so otherwise he wouldn't have fitted in as well as he did. Maybe things were different when he was there in the late 90s but Parisians are renown for their dislike of English speakers. His delightful child won me over and I really enjoyed reading about his exploits. ( )
  maelinor | Mar 17, 2015 |
I enjoy Gopnik's writing in The New Yorker and appreciate his views and observations. Unfortunately, it turns out that I don't really care all that much about quiet, thoughtful essays on life in Paris. Many people do. I don't. This is something I learned.
  phredfrancis | Feb 8, 2014 |
I enjoyed these essays by a New Yorker living and bringing up a young son in Paris.Living in a foreign city allows more insight into the nature of the local culture than travel allows and Adam Gopnik is a thoughtful and insightful writer. ( )
  cscott | May 11, 2013 |
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"I dare say, moreover," she pursued with an interested gravity, "that I do, that we all do here, run too much to mere eye.  But how can it be helped? We're all looking at each other - and in the light of Paris one sees what things resemble. That's what the light of Paris seems always to show. It's the fault of the light of Paris - dear old light!" 
"Dear Old Paris!" little Bilham echoed. 
"Everything, everyone shows," Miss Barrace went on. 
"But for what they really are?" Strether asked. 
"Oh, I like your Boston 'reallys'! But sometimes - yes." 
-- The Ambassadors
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Not long after we moved to Paris, in the fall of 1995, my wife, Martha, and I saw, in the window of a shop on the rue Saint-Sulpice a nineteenth-century engraving, done in the manner, though I'm now inclined to think not from the hand, of Daumier.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375758232, Paperback)

In 1995 Gopnik was offered the plush assignment of writing the "Paris Journals" for the New Yorker. He spent five years in Paris with his wife, Martha, and son, Luke, writing dispatches now collected here along with previously unpublished journal entries. A self-described "comic-sentimental essayist," Gopnik chose the romance of Paris in its particulars as his subject. Gopnik falls in unabashed love with what he calls Paris's commonplace civilization--the cafés, the little shops, the ancient carousel in the park, and the small, intricate experiences that happen in such settings. But Paris can also be a difficult city to love, particularly its pompous and abstract official culture with its parallel paper universe. The tension between these two sides of Paris and the country's general brooding over the decline of French dominance in the face of globalization (haute couture, cooking, and sex, as well as the economy, are running deficits) form the subtexts for these finely wrought and witty essays. With his emphasis on the micro in the macro, Gopnik describes trying to get a Thanksgiving turkey delivered during a general strike and his struggle to find an apartment during a government scandal over favoritism in housing allocations. The essays alternate between reports of national and local events and accounts of expatriate family life, with an emphasis on "the trinity of late-century bourgeois obsessions: children and cooking and spectator sports, including the spectator sport of shopping." Gopnik describes some truly delicious moments, from the rites of Parisian haute couture, to the "occupation" of a local brasserie in protest of its purchase by a restaurant tycoon, to the birth of his daughter with the aid of a doctor in black jeans and a black silk shirt, open at the front. Gopnik makes terrific use of his status as an observer on the fringes of fashionable society to draw some deft comparisons between Paris and New York ("It is as if all American appliances dreamed of being cars while all French appliances dreamed of being telephones") and do some incisive philosophizing on the nature of both. This is masterful reportage with a winning infusion of intelligence, intimacy, and charm. --Lesley Reed

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Now in paperback, the bestselling comic-romantic adventures of an American family in Paris is penned by"The New Yorker" writer and author of the magazine's popular "Paris Journal" column. The story is rooted in the sentimental reeducation of a weary American through the experience of his son's childhood in France. A "New York Times" Notable Book of 2000.… (more)

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