The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

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Harper Collins, May 24, 2011 - Travel - 320 pages

Thrust into the unlikely role of professional "literary walking tour" guide, an expat writer provides the most irresistibly witty and revealing tour of Paris in years.

In this enchanting memoir, acclaimed author and long-time Paris resident John Baxter remembers his yearlong experience of giving "literary walking tours" through the city. Baxter sets off with unsuspecting tourists in tow on the trail of Paris's legendary artists and writers of the past. Along the way, he tells the history of Paris through a brilliant cast of characters: the favorite cafés of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce; Pablo Picasso's underground Montmartre haunts; the bustling boulevards of the late-nineteenth-century flâneurs; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; the alleys where revolutionaries plotted; and finally Baxter's own favorite walk near his home in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bcrowl399 - www.librarything.com

I love John Baxter's style. I learned so much. I could almost see and smell the wonderful sights he described, even though it's been decades since I was in Paris. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - niquetteb - LibraryThing

I did not know what to expect from this non-fiction part history part autobiography. It was a bit disjointed between chapters and it was not a smooth read as a result. I enjoyed some of the anecdotes, but the transitions could have used some more work or better editing. Read full review

Contents

TO WALK THE WALK
1
WALKING BACKWARDS FOR CHRISTMAS
7
WHAT A MANS GOT TO DO
14
HEAT
17
TWO GEESE AROASTING 6 THE HOLLYWOOD MOMENT 31
31
HEMINGWAYS SHOES
39
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST
44
THE BOULEVARDIER
51
THE GREAT LA COUPOLE ROUNDUP
148
LIVER LOVER
157
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLED
165
A WALK IN THE EARTH
170
HEAVEN AND HELL
182
BLUE HOUR BLUES
189
THE LAST OF MONTPARNASSE
207
THE FUZZ ON THE PEACH
216

THE MURDERERS GARDEN
58
GOING WALKABOUT
69
THE MUSIC OF WALKING
75
POWER WALKS
80
A PROPOSITION AT LES EDITEURS
88
THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY
94
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
102
THE OPIUM TRAIL
109
POSTCARDS FROM PARIS
116
THE GROUND BENEATH OUR FEET
125
LOOKING FOR MATISSE
133
FISH STORY
141
TO MARKET
223
THE BOULEVARD OF CRIME
227
THE GATES OF NIGHT
234
A LITTLE PLACE IN THE NINETEENTH
240
A WALK IN TIME
248
AUSSIE IN THE MÉTRO
260
A TOUCH OF STRANGE
272
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
274
WALK IN THE WORLD
281
PARIS MODE DEMPLOI PARIS A USERS GUIDE
287
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About the author (2011)

John Baxter has lived in Paris for more than twenty years. He is the author of four acclaimed memoirs about his life in France: The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France; The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris; Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas; and We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Baxter, who gives literary walking tours through Paris, is also a film critic and biographer whose subjects have included the directors Fellini, Kubrick, Woody Allen, and most recently, Josef von Sternberg. Born in Australia, he lives with his wife and daughter in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, in the same building Sylvia Beach called home.

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