Plot/Idea: This is a delightful work that will entrance readers and allow them to view Paris through the author's eyes and memories. The result is a fully enamoring portrait of the City of Love.
Prose: Frangipane is an fine storyteller, crafting descriptions that will capture and hold readers' interest even when describing the most mundane situations—such as trying to get change for a bus or tasting local cuisine. Frangipane's excitement and affection for Paris is palpable through his vibrant experiences painted across the pages.
Originality: Though travel memoirs and loving homages to the world's great cities are familiar, the author's portrayal of 1970's Paris is memorable.
Character/Execution: Frangipane himself takes a backseat to the book's main star: Paris in all of its glory. His writing brings the city to life for readers, with sparkling descriptions and stirring imagery.
Date Submitted: October 30, 2023
Frangipane paints a picture-perfect portrait of Paris in his observations of ancient architecture, such as the abbey of Jumièges and the Luxembourg Gardens, and luscious French fine dinings and pastries, to his admiration of Impressionist paintings—of Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise,” he writes “I could almost hear the water lapping on the edge of the boats"—and his own burgeoning efforts at artistic creation. Heidi became his devoted guide and travel buddy, revealing the historic wonders of the city and the labyrinthine Parisian streets. As an American, he of course faced the challenge of learning and adapting to cultural differences and language barriers, especially in pursuit of a job.
While the narrative may lack dramatic crescendos, a surprising revelation in the final chapter leaves readers mirroring Barry’s own introspective life and its paths. Frangipane's narrative, occasionally reminiscent of a detailed travelogue with its accompanying photographs and sounded emotional content, enticingly transports readers to the cobblestone streets of the iconic city. Through his eyes, readers witness the daily tribulations and delights of being an American in a foreign land, where every interaction and street corner presents a potential cultural clash or fusion. For Paris enthusiasts, this memoir serves as a literary passport, inviting them to vicariously indulge in the enchantment of the French capital.
Takeaway: An American traveler's spontaneous life in 1970’s France.
Comparable Titles: Suzy Gershman’s C'est La Vie, Janice MacLeod’s A Paris Year.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A
Paris for Life is not just a travel guide; it is a love letter to the city of Paris and a celebration of life's simple pleasures. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or dreaming of your first trip abroad, this book is a must-read. So sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine, and let Barry take you on a journey that will leave you enchanted and inspired.
I’ve been to Paris, but I’d never really been to Paris till I read Barry Frangipane’s book. It’s not the kind that inspires movie love stories, where the Eiffel Tower seems to be outside every window, it’s an homage to the ordinary people, and small daily events that make up a life; an adventure thriller, epicurean delight and loving snapshot of a city one can only truly know from the inside out. Do yourself a favor, devour this book with your morning croissant and cappuccino tout de suite!
I was completely captivated by the book from start to finish and recommend all travel enthusiasts read it. Don't miss out on Paris for Life: a book that's educative, exquisite, and richly adorned with travel thrills. ★★★★★