Paris, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin

Book CoverI had to read this memoir of Baldwin’s time working at an advertising firm on the Champs Elysees in Paris, since I visited last year and vowed to go back. Reading Baldwin’s book was better than a couple of weeks touring the arrondissements (well, almost). Paris, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down is filled with humor and poignancy and reveals the challenges of staying excited about living your dream when it becomes a part of your day-to-day grind.

Baldwin shares the foibles of the French–both friends and strangers–but with a fondness that demonstrates that it is often their idiosyncrasies that endear them to him. Along the way, the reader learns the truth of the modern Parisian–they work long hours, serve commercially-prepared gourmet hors d’oeuvres from the freezer section, and think of “”liberte, fraternite, egalite”” as situationally applicable.

Baldwin’s hilarious human commentary includes self-deprecating look at his own difficulties adjusting and acquiring a mastery of the language and culture, with plenty of hilarious verbal blunders and only-in-Paris moments. Connoisseurs of the TV show Mad Men will appreciate the quirky office politics and peek into the world of luxury advertising as Baldwin stumbles into the choice projects at his advertising firm.

If you can’t love it for all this, you have to at least enjoy Paris, I Love You as a masterpiece of anthropological study. Just remember to remove your rose-colored glasses before reading.

 Find and reserve this book in the catalog.

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